This is a new thread to discuss Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality and anything related to it. This thread is intended for discussing chapter 88-89The previous thread has passed 500 comments. 

There is now a site dedicated to the story at, which is now the place to go to find the authors notes and all sorts of other goodies. AdeleneDawner has kept an archive of Author’s Notes. (This goes up to the notes for chapter 76, and is now not updating. The authors notes from chapter 77 onwards are on 

The first 5 discussion threads are on the main page under the harry_potter tag.  Threads 6 and on (including this one) are in the discussion section using its separate tag system.  Also: 12345678910111213141516, 17, 18.

Spoiler Warning: this thread is full of spoilers. With few exceptions, spoilers for MOR and canon are fair game to post, without warning or rot13. More specifically:

You do not need to rot13 anything about HP:MoR or the original Harry Potter series unless you are posting insider information from Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).

If there is evidence for X in MOR and/or canon then it’s fine to post about X without rot13, even if you also have heard privately from Eliezer that X is true. But you should not post that “Eliezer said X is true” unless you use rot13.

New Comment
963 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 10:35 AM
Some comments are truncated due to high volume. (⌘F to expand all)Change truncation settings

Public Service Announcement: If you feel strongly affected by chapter 89, and do not yet have first aid training, consider googling a local class and signing up. Some sudden deaths can be prevented, and it might need to be by you. Make the most good out of your horror and revulsion.

As far as teachable lessons go, Harry didn't get first aid training for his first aid kid. If Eliezer wanted to maximize the amount of the impact of this lesson he could let a healer tell Harry that he didn't use the kit to maximum effect in an upcoming chapter.

First aid kit as curiosity stopper. Treating it as more a checkmark on a list of things responsible people have, and not an item that causally interacts with the world.

One of the first things we got taught in first aid was "there's nothing in a first aid kit that can save a life". This probably needs a bunch of caveats to make it absolutely factually true, but it's worth generally bearing in mind. (My actual first aid kit includes a pair of trauma shears, which I think could save a life in a non-negligible amount of emergency circumstances.)
Well, most of the point of first aid kits (and first aid training) in serious situations is stabilization, which could indeed save lives in the situation where a ambulance/professional is in the way.

And thus, Hermione Jean Granger was permenantly sacrificed in a ritual which manifested Harry Potter.

Clever, but I just can't bring myself to upvote it.
You know, that is way funnier than it has any right to be.

This is a very powerful demonstration of how the sudden death of a single loved friend affects one more than the horrible, slow torture to death of a thousand strangers in Azkaban.

This applies to Harry - but I'm not talking about him. I'm talking about myself and all the readers now expressing their pain on reddit.

A single death is felt differently from a thousand deaths. At least in fiction...

Y'know, I like the new, true version of Ch. 85, the one where Harry fails to get a phoenix -- but I also really liked the original version (which, remember, Eliezer wrote as a stand-in because he couldn't get the true version finished in time), where Harry, compromising with himself, made a resolution that for now he would try to win without killing people -- but if anybody died [by his opponent's hands], not just a PC, but any arbitrary bystander (he'd been thinking about how Batman's ethics only come off as good if you don't care about all the NPCs the Joker kills), the gloves would come off.

I'd kind of hoped that Harry would be able to actually go through without a death, and failing that I kind of expected that it would be some random NPC's death that would change things -- but I don't think that would actually have worked to justify Harry's future actions to the reader. [ETA: I guess buybuydavis is right too that, even more importantly, it wouldn't have worked as a statement against death.] It really does need to be somebody we (the readers) care about in order to carry even a fraction of the emotional impact that death should carry.

(Tangent: As a preteen, I read 2001 up to th... (read more)

I don't think it works if what EY is making a statement against Death, which it seems to me he is. Rationality is all fine and dandy, but I think it's window dressing on the main theme of the value of Life and the horror of Death. The best, the brightest, the most loved, the least deserving of it will die with all the rest. So, Hermione dies.
There was one thing that annoyed me about this. Harry wasn't just fighting Voldemort. He barely even cares about Voldemort. He's fighting everything bad about the universe. If he was truly willing to take the gloves off after the first death, then he would have done so after about half a second.
Actually, this is the aftermath of the Taboo Tradeoffs arc (i.e., the Wizengamot trial): yes, Harry doesn't care about Voldemort, but he does have a very specific enemy at this point -- the person who tried to murder Draco and send Hermione to Azkaban (or at least the second, if it was Quirrell -- of course I expect it was Quirrellmort, but Harry only thinks of Quirrell as one of a range of different suspects). And by the time of Ch. 85, to Harry's knowledge, nobody has yet died in that particular war.
I don't think Harry's target is a person at all, but Death itself. That's the enemy. Harry would actually save Voldemort from Death if he could.
If we're talking about the story as a whole, sure. If we're talking specifically about the two incarnations of Ch. 85 (which I was), let me quote: Sure, Harry doesn't actually want to kill that unknown enemy -- it is also Ch. 85 where he thinks about how killing Voldemort would make the people of a hundred million years into the future terribly sad -- but he very much does think in terms of a human target at this point in time who he wants to win against.
Per chapter 90, I don't see him thinking about his human enemy, I see him obsessing about defeating Death to save Hermione.
Wait, that got replaced?
Yup. It was, apparently, a placeholder because Eliezer didn't manage to write the stuff about the phoenix in time for the update (and didn't want to leave the fic hanging on that gloomy note for a long time).
Great, now I have to go re-read it. Shame, I quite liked that chapter, actually.
Depends on the circumstances. For example, if you're inflicting the deaths yourself; I read somewhere that the Nazis used gas chambers rather than the bullets they used at first, because killing unarmed, unresisting individuals of all ages and genders by the dozen disturbed the soldiers. Or when you don't know the people yourself, but their disappearance impacts and cripples your world.
I've read the same thing about Nazi soldiers, and also that they couldn't handle another early method of killing-- driving prisoners around in closed trucks with the exhaust fed into the back compartment. It's not that the thousands have no impact, it's that one person can make a much larger emotional difference. I've also heard that for soldiers, seeing one more death or injury can be the tipping point into PTSD.
Am I missing something, or does this follow trivially from PTSD being binary and the set of possible body counts being the natural numbers?
The thing is that PTSD is really not that binary, like many mental illnesses, it has a wide range of symptoms and severity levels. What Nancy is talking about is how one death can push one drastically over, skipping much of the middle range where it might be ambiguous if one had symptoms severe enough to be diagnoseable. (Disclaimer, while I've heard the same sort of things NancyLebovitz is talking about, I'm not aware of any studies actually supporting this.)
Got it. I was previously having difficulty making that belief pay rent.
The people in Azkaban are guilty of crimes, usually pretty terrible ones. There's a difference between the innocent and the guilty. Edit: For clarity, I'm not saying that they deserve to be tortured to death for their crimes. Azkaban is unnecessary and wildly disproportionate. It's an issue of priorities - I'm going to feel bad for the victims of murder and work to help them quite a lot earlier than I'll do the same for the perpetrators of murder.
From canon, and from what nearly happened to Hermione, it is clear that one can be sent to Azkaban while innocent.
Of course. However, it's not the usual outcome. Even given that, Azkaban is certainly worse than Hermione's death, speaking intellectually. But it doesn't hit as hard emotionally.
If there are thousands of inmates at Azkaban, and the wizarding justice system is not always absolutely correct, even if then are only wrong a percent or two of the time, there are tens or even maybe hundreds of innocent prisoners of Azkaban. So, "not the usual outcome", is irrelevant, what matters is the numbers. But of course it doesn't hit as hard, and that is precisely because of the numbers. It is a bug in the human brain that one innocent person being ripped to death in front of you hurts a lot more than tens of innocent people being tortured to death out of sight, especially surrounded by thousands more people also being tortured to death who some say have lower moral priority.
I don't think it's the numbers so much as it is the familiarity. Were I familiar with any one Azkaban inmate, assuming the wizarding justice system is at least decently effective, I'd probably say "Yeah, this guy is probably guilty. Sucks to be him, but he should really avoid killing people next time". That is not what I think when I see Hermione suffering. Even knowing that there's probably several Hermiones in there, not knowing which ones they are makes empathizing with them a lot harder.
Based on how Hermione's trial went, this probably isn't a safe assumption. Many of the people in Azkaban may have just pissed off the wrong person (e.g. Lucius).
I doubt most trials are decided by political pressure. There's a few, but the typical trial is done in an ordinary way, with no bias more malicious than a prosecutor wanting to avoid looking stupid and the judge wanting to get done in time for lunch.

When I first read the end of the chapter, my thought was that Quirrell hadn't arranged the incident; he had thought it was a "surprisingly good day" which suggested to me that he hadn't expected the troll.

After reading comments, I became less sure about that; someone suggested that Quirrell might have simply not intended for Harry to be at the scene and in danger. This seems plausible, but one thing still makes it difficult for me to believe it was Quirrell.

The troll had been enchanted against sunlight:

someone had enchanted the troll against sunlight before using it as a murder weapon and might also have strengthened it in other ways.

And Harry transfigured part of the troll:

Harry visualized a one-millimeter-wide cross-section through the enemy's brain, and Transfigured it into sulfuric acid.

But before, it was stated that Quirrell could not charm something that Harry had Transfigured:

Professor Quirrell could not cast spells on something Harry had Transfigured, for that would be an interaction, however slight, between their magics, but -

For Quirrell to have been behind this, I can see only two possibilities: 1) Harry can transfigure something Professor Quirrell ... (read more)

Harry transfigured the inside of the troll. Maybe Quirrell only needed to enchant the outside?

Or that the enchantment is somewhat less fixed to the body of the troll? Or Harry and Quirrel might be wrong about how their magic can touch? Harry never exactly knew the boundaries. He has only the sense of doom and the resonance from the Avadakedvra - Patronus interaction.

He touched it. In chapter 56 or 55, I forget which, Harry had to wear a glove to ride the room that Quirrell enchanted. In chapter 89, he picks up the troll by the ear.

I don't think that Harry actually knows for sure that he couldn't touch the broom.
Good point, I missed the picking the troll up by the ear entirely.
Oh snap. I didn't even notice that problem. There is a third possibility: Dumbledore brought in the troll to guard the Stone (or other object), as in canon, and he was the one who cast the spells to protect it. I'm unsure about this, because it seems unusually violent for Dumbledore.
In canon "Troll" was defense layer number.. 5? Anyone in that deep can fairly be considered to be asking for it. If this is the case, the naive reading of events is that it got loose because someone was cracking the defenses...
In canon, there were two different trolls: One that got in and attacked Hermione, and one that was guarding the stone. Two totally different trolls, although many have noted that both were supplied by Quirrell. (And actually, because of this it has become fanon that Quirrell has a talent in dealing with trolls. (Although that Quirrell is a very different person from HPMOR's Hansonian Quirrell, so don't read to much into this with regards to HPMOR.))
I believe that Quirrell actually stated this in canon. When he admitted in the chamber which held the Philosopher's Stone that he was the one who had supplied the troll for the defenses, he said he had a knack for dealing with them, or something to that effect.
Why would Dumbledore enchant the troll against sunlight if it was going to be in the third-floor corridor all along?

To defend it against anyone with a sunlight-generating spell or who has some acorn potion handy.

In fact, isn't there such a spell used in Canon?
There's 'Lumos' [] but it's never mentioned as a dead-useful defense against trolls so presumably isn't as good as real sunlight or a sunlight-generating spell.
No, I could swear there was an actual ... maybe in one of the movies? EDIT: I was thinking of this []

Hermione's cheeks were going even redder. "You're really evil, did anyone ever tell you that?"

"Miss Granger," Professor Quirrell said gravely, "it can be dangerous to give people compliments like that when they have not been truly earned. The recipient might feel bashful and undeserving and want to do something worthy of your praise.

Hermione's lips were moving, just a tiny bit but they were moving.

"your... fault..."

Time froze. Harry should have told her not to talk, to save her breath, only he couldn't unblock his lips.

Hermione drew in another breath, and her lips whispered, "Not your fault."

"Of course it was my fault. There's no one else here who could be responsible for anything."

"One of my classmates gets bitten by a horrible monster, and as I scrabble frantically in my mokeskin pouch for something that could help her, she looks at me sadly and with her last breath says, 'Why weren't you prepared?' And then she dies, and I know as her eyes close that she won't ever forgive me -"

( [])

I'm sad now.

Those of you who didn't read canon before reading this, there's a corresponding incident in the first book which I think would add to your understanding of this incident. Quirrell sneaks a troll into the school, but Harry, Ron, and Hermione are improbably able to defeat it using the first thing the Weasleys try here (smacking it with its own club). The difficulty level of that encounter was clearly calibrated to the characters' strengths in a way common in heroic stories and I think Eliezer was deliberately subverting that expectation. (He's made this point in the sequences on a few occasions - something about how it's allowed for Nature to just throw problems at humanity that are too hard for it - although I can't find a quote at the moment.) I particularly appreciated how Harry only used tools that he had deliberately prepared in advance, sometimes way in advance, e.g. the healer's kit.

I also wonder where Fawkes was while this was happening. You'd think he would've found his way to either Harry or Hermione.

I have a mild complaint about all these cameos. Some of the names of the people who end up getting cameos don't fit in the Harry Potter universe to my ear and they stick out really noticeably. One of the first things I'd do if I were hypothetically rewriting HPMoR for publication is to come up with a consistent and meaningful naming scheme.

The difficulty level of that encounter was clearly calibrated to the characters' strengths in a way common in heroic stories and I think Eliezer was deliberately subverting that expectation.

I think it's ironic that at the begining of the update, Harry refers to Filch as a "low-level random encounter whom [he] often breezed past wearing his epic-level Deathly Hallow".

I haven't read much Hary Potter fanfiction, but what I have, including HPMoR, tends to up the difficulty considerably, and makes this apparent by having the characters use the same trick that Ron knocked out the canon troll with to little or no effect. (In this case, Eliezer made it clear in Quirrel's first class that that trick would be dreadfully unlikely to work.) Is this a trend in HP fanfiction (in which case, it seems to fall into the class of "taking HP fanfiction tropes and doing them better" that Eliezer's been following)? Or is my sample size too small?
I think most Harry Potter fanfiction doesn't have a difficulty level as such. Your sample is probably extremely unrepresentative.

I predict that it will be revealed that Quirrell or a closely related entity has been abusing Harry on and off throughout his life, to try and make him into a Dark Lord.

He can go to Harry's house like the time he played Father Christmas.

Obliviated memories leave residue, which is how in Chapter 88 the twins remembered that they could find people, in the castle, but couldn't remember how.

In the first chapter, Harry noticed that he believed in magic.

some part of Harry was utterly convinced that magic was real

In chapter 16, Harry is almost reminded of something when he looks at Quirell, but can't remember what. And when Quirrell is first introduced, Harry ominously recognizes him

"Professor?" Harry said, once they were in the courtyard. He had meant to ask what was going on, but oddly found himself asking an entirely different question instead. "Who was that pale man, by the corner? The man with the twitching eye?"

"Hm?" said Professor McGonagall, sounding a bit surprised; perhaps she hadn't expected that question either. "That was Professor Quirinus Quirrell. He'll be teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts this year at Hogwarts."


... (read more)

Edit: I just realized that Harry was probably abused almost every night (or day) for some significant period. There was a time turner involved, and that's why his sleep cycle is off.

I don't know about this, for a couple of reasons.

1) If there was a time turner involved, why do the issues with Harry's sleep schedule persist even after he gets to Hogwarts and gains a time-turner of his own?

2) If someone spent a two-hour period of time abusing Harry and then time-turnering it away every day, wouldn't he get tired two hours early nstead of two hours late? That is to say, wouldn't his sleep cycle appear to be 22 hours instead of 26?

For the same reason his response persist even when the abuse no longer does: he's been conditioned. It goes the other way. See, while he was being abused for two hours a day that no one else experienced, he was experiencing 26 hour days when everyone else was experiencing 24 hour days. So his body adjusted to that.
I'm having a little trouble making the timeline work out on this, since one wouldn't be able to notice his sleep issues while the time-turner abusing was ongoing; it would be a consequence that appeared after the fact. It's mentioned in chapter 2 that Harry was in school when he was seven; that could be argued as evidence that his sleep issues hadn't quite manifested at that point, and that he'd been pulled out of school soon after, once they did. But that still leaves a period of three or four years for Harry to readjust to 24 hour days. You'd think Harry and his parents would have at least tried some kind of therapy, if the issue was severe enough to pull him out of school, and in the absence of some kind of reinforcing factor, why wouldn't said therapy at least have made some progress on the issue?
The story clearly states Harry's explicit interest in not attending school, so he wouldn't have tried anything to change his sleep pattern for that purpose, and I doubt by the age of 10 he'd found any other important reasons to motivate sleep pattern changing therapy. I also doubt his parents' preferences matter, here, and even if they did prefer he change his habits, I doubt they'd press him into therapy without his explicit, cooperative, interest.

My interpretation is that all of these are symptoms of Harry's dark side (which is the backup copy / horcrux of Voldemort somewhere in him).

There was a time turner involved, and that's why his sleep cycle is off.

This is an intriguing hypothesis, but are you aware that Eliezer also has this condition? I was under the impression that he was working off of his own experiences here and nothing more.

I think the simpler "conscious Horcrux inside Harry" theories are ruled out by the sorting hat: "I can tell you that there is definitely nothing like a ghost - mind, intelligence, memory, personality, or feelings - in your scar. Otherwise it would be participating in this conversation, being under my brim."

It is possible that the original, canon Harry has been completely replaced by Voldemort, or that the Horcrux has merged with Harry to form a new single personality. The sorting hat is also explicit that it does not remember previous students such as Tom Riddle as individuals. Therefore it would not notice if HJPEV were in fact Tom Riddle redux. However there's just one person in Harry, not two.

The hat talked specifically about objects under its brim. Maybe the horcrux is in some other part of Harry?
I probably heard that at some point; it's been years since this started, now. But I expect better of him than "I get ingrown toenails and ingrown toenails don't get enough attention from the public so I'm going to give my protagonist that problem, too." Also, cannon Harry didn't have the sleep cycle problem. For the most part, there are in-universe reasons for departures from cannon other than, "That was dumb and I'm not writing a story with dumb in it."
Really? I hadn't heard that. Where did you see that? Could you link to it?
I talked to him and he told me.
Huh, there's a thing. I guess he just never mentioned it online.
I think I remember seeing him mention it somewhere online but I failed to find it within a few minutes of searching. Edit: See also: [] [] Edit 2: In the August 27 2013 HP: MoR author's note [] Eliezer says that he has non-24 sleep disorder (but that he recently fixed it with help from MetaMed []).
This is good evidence right up until you destroy your own case: "Quirrell expected Harry to become a Dark Lord when he spoke with him after the first class and was surprised that Harry aspired to science." Surprise that Harry aspired to science is not what someone who had been regularly communicating with Harry for a decade would experience. On the other hand, you're firing with some fully automatic plot-armor-piercing bullets, there. Quirrell's primary motivation is clearly to groom Harry for some future, so if he waited to start doing so until Harry entered Hogwarts, why did he wait? My favorite theory (Harry is an amnesiac transfer of Voldemort, Quirrelmort is just a horcrux) is only slightly better here. In this case Quirrelmort wouldn't anticipate how much a happy childhood might change Voldemort's personality and wouldn't see the need to remold himself until after that first encounter. That still doesn't explain why he wouldn't even check in on himself for a decade. It took that long for the "mort" part of Quirrelmort to take full control? Or maybe after taking control Quirrelmort knows he only has a year's worth of activity before decaying away, so he chose to save it when he would have extended contact with Harrymort and the latter would be studying magic?
So that Harry would have started to use magic, and could be seen to defeat Voldemort in combat, instead of just be part of some freakish accident that killed Voldemort. Harry "defeats" Voldemort while Voldemort downloads into Harry, transforming himself from Villain to Savior and living happily ever after.
4Ben Pace10y
Fridge Horror. []
Don't forget (emphasis added)
I don't think so. He's not supposed to use magic on Harry, and his attempts to influence him through their link fail as well.
His inability to influence Harry through the link does not reflect an inability to influence him at all. His influencing the everloving fuck out of Harry in Defense Class. The part where he can't use magic on Harry is more of a poked hole in this theory, though. I can answer it, of course, but not without raising more questions. I'll think about that one.
Woah. I don't even care if it's wrong, that's brilliant.
It's come up several times before. I believe the usual counterobjection is something like 'that if Harry is being kept up 6 hours later by a Timeturner in order to be abused, then he would fall asleep earlier and have an 18-hour cycle, not the opposite direction'.
Ah, but if he adapted, and the abuse stopped, then he would end up with a longer cycle. I think that's the idea, anyway. I seriously doubt that's actually what happened though; not EY's style, somehow.
Well, covering up child abuse with a Timeturner seems like Eliezer 'you know what's a good abuse of Obliviation? covering up rape' Yudkowsky's style; it's just the adaptation that is extremely implausible since sleep cycles don't work that way.

This is interesting. From the end of Ch. 89:

Unseen by anyone, the Defense Professor's lips curved up in a thin smile. Despite its little ups and downs, on the whole this had been a surprisingly good day

From Ch. 46, after Harry destroys the dementor:

I must admit, Mr. Potter, that although it has had its ups and downs, on the whole, this has been a surprisingly good day.

Every day that Harry kills something is a good day, of course.

Without endorsing any part of this comment dealing with events which have yet to take place, I congratulate user 75th who receives many Bayes points for this:

Hermione is dead. Hermione Granger is doomed to die horribly. Hermione Granger will very soon die, and die horribly, dramatically, grotesquely, and utterly.

Fare thee well, Hermione Jean Granger. You escaped death once, at a cost of twice and a half your hero's capital. There is nothing remaining. There is no escape. You were saved once, by the will of your hero and the will of your enemy. You were offered a final escape, but like the heroine you are, you refused. Now only death awaits you. No savior hath the savior, least of all you. You will die horribly, and Harry Potter will watch, and Harry Potter will crack open and fall apart and explode, but even he in all his desperation and fury will not be able to save you. You are the cord binding Harry Potter to the Light, and you will be cut, and your blood, spilled by the hand of your enemy, will usher in Hell on Earth, rendered by the hand of your hero.

Goodbye, Hermione. May the peace and goodness you

... (read more)

Or alternately, somewhere in the literally thousands and thousands of predictions or claims (I have ~200 in just my personal collection which is nowhere comprehensive) spread across the 20k MoR reviews on, the >5k comments on LW, the 3650 subscribers of the MoR subreddit, the TvTropes discussions etc etc, someone got something right.

You know perfectly well that one does not get to preach about a single right prediction. He had the opportunity to make more than that prediction, and he failed to take it.


He also predicted that Hat and Cloak was Quirrell, Santa Claus was Dumbledore, and S. was Snape. He considered these predictions blatantly obvious as well. I remember receiving ~13 upvotes for arguing that Quirrell could be ruled out as H&C, so it wasn't as obvious to all of us.

All of which were consensus beliefs; do not make the mistake of interpreting upvotes as object-level agreement - you may have received the upvotes for making the anti-Quirrel case well or bringing up some bit that people hadn't remembered or just being funny.

It's a large space, not a binary yes-or-no, so successful predictions are impressive even given a large base. Also I could be prejudiced but MoR is supposed to be solvable god damn it.

Someone was criticized. S/he was right, the critics were wrong. The neural net updating algorithm calls for a nudge in the appropriate direction of "Beware of dismissing those who speak with what you think is too much confidence."

No, it doesn't, not out of thousands of predictions of which you selected one post hoc. If I may quote you, our minds do not run on floating point beliefs.
If 75th's predictions were just luck, wouldn't it be likely for there to be other people who got a smaller number of the predictions right?
Yes. If you look through the threads or the PredictionBook entries, there are plenty of people blowing predictions. (A particularly good example was the Wizengamot trial: how would Harry rescue Hermione? The actual solution was 1 of the top 2 or 3 suggestions, but that still implies a lot of people favoriting wrong solutions.)
Even if 75ths predictions aren't just luck, you don't have enough information to meaningfully update across such a broad reference class. If it's got to overcome the weight of everyone I think is speaking with too much confidence on the other end of the lever, it's not going to move far enough to be noticeable.
I update in favor of "user 75th is more experienced in the tropes of enigma fiction." Indeed I would not be at all surprised were I to discover that user 75th writes such fiction him or herself. It similarly wouldn't surprise me if user 75th had gone to the library and checked out and read some of the same 15 books Elizier checked out and read before writing HPMoR. For example, before reading the author's notes on HPMoR I was not familiar with Chekhov's Gun. Now that I am, I am much more likely to catch such a device when it appears in other fiction. I now suspect user 75th is quite familiar with Chekhov's Gun and other standard tricks of this sort of story. 75th picked up on one such trope (one I'm still not familiar with) that signaled that Hermione was heading for death. If there's a general update to be had here, it may go something like this: Before dismissing those who speak with what I think is too much confidence, I need to consider the possibility that their confidence is based on facts or experience I am not aware of. I should probably take five minutes to ask them why they are so confident before dismissing them.

Ha, you've got me all wrong. I am woefully under-read, particularly in fiction. I get a very small percentage of the references Eliezer makes in Methods; most of the time, I find out that he's borrowed something months (or, let's face it, years) after I read it, only by seeing someone else explicitly point out the reference. I have had my life ruined by TV Tropes, but most of what I'm familiar with there is video games, and not too awfully many of those.

But it's not a matter of picking up on specific tropes, exactly. It's more a matter of getting into the author's head. Of constantly asking "If this were foreshadowing or a setup or a clue, what would be the most effective payoff?" I read Chapter 84, and then, put together with many other quotes from my many rereads of HPMoR ("Nothing really bad ever happens at Hogwarts", "Her life was officially over", etc.), I answered that question with "Hermione will die horribly," then posted how I felt about it.

It's the same deal with my prediction — which I'm far more certain of than I was that Hermione would die horribly — that Nzryvn Obarf xvyyrq Anepvffn Znysbl. I got into an argument with someone o... (read more)

Re the rot13 bit, I called it that Qhzoyrqber xvyyrq ure based on text evidence before that was revealed, so the idea that it's Obarf has always seemed wrong to me. They can't both have done it, you know?

Arf, didn't mean to start this again, but here's my usual litany:

Gur bayl rivqrapr jr unir gung Qhzoyrqber xvyyrq Anepvffn vf gung Yhpvhf fnlf Qhzoyrqber gbyq uvz fb. Jr qba'g xabj gur rknpg jbeqf Qhzoyrqber hfrq, naq oheavat fbzrbar nyvir ernyyl qbrfa'g frrz yvxr Qhzoyrqber'f fglyr (nygubhtu V jvyy fnl gung Puncgre 89 vf gur svefg gvzr V'ir gubhtug gur Qhzoyrqber-vf-rivy pebjq zvtug npghnyyl unir fbzrguvat fhofgnagvir gb jbex jvgu). Zrnajuvyr:

  1. Nzryvn'f qrsnhyg gubhtug jura eriratr pbzrf gb zvaq vf "Fbzrbar jbhyq ohea sbe guvf."
  2. Anepvffn'f fvfgre xvyyrq Nzryvn'f oebgure.
  3. Nzryvn vf gur bar jub fcrnxf hc va gur Jvmratnzbg, gryyvat Qhzoyrqber "Qba'g rira guvax nobhg vg" jura Qhzoyrqber pbafvqref pbasrffvat gb Anepvffn'f zheqre.

Jura V bayl xarj nobhg #1, V jebgr vg bss nf n cbffvoyr pbvapvqrapr. Ohg gura crqnagreevsvp cbvagrq bhg #2 gb zr, naq V fgebatyl hctenqrq gur ulcbgurfvf'f cebonovyvgl. Gura yngre #3 unccrarq, naq V orpnzr nf pregnva nf V nz abj.

And if that's not as close as you can actually come to a Bayesian updating process when reading a fiction book, where the only experiment you can perform is "Wait for more chapters and then read them", I would love to learn what's legitimately closer.

1) Gryyvat fbzrbar gung lbh qvq fbzrguvat frrzf yvxr sne fgebatre rivqrapr gb zr guna hfvat n fvzvyne jbeq bapr. 2) Erzrzore, gur oheavat unccrarq evtug nsgre Noresbegu jnf xvyyrq, fb Qhzoyrqber'f zbgvir vf nyzbfg pregnvayl fgebatre guna Nzryvn'f. 3) Nyy guvf erdhverf vf na nyyl pybfr rabhtu gb xabj jung lbh'er guvaxvat naq gb trg lbh gb onpx qbja. V qba'g qbhog gung Nzryvn xabjf nobhg vg, V whfg qba'g guvax fur jnf gur bar jub crefbanyyl qvq vg. Tvira gung Obarf naq ZpTbantnyy ner(V guvax) gur bayl BBGC zrzoref va gur ebbz ng gur gvzr, vg'f irel jrnx rivqrapr - gur cebonovyvgl gung fur'f fcrnxvat hc nf na nyyl vf nyzbfg nf uvtu nf gur cebonovyvgl gung fur'f fcrnxvat hc nf gur thvygl cnegl. Lbhe gurbel vf abg penml, ohg vg'f yrff cebonoyr guna gur Qhzoyrqber gurbel fb sne nf V pna gryy.
Amelia Bones isn't a member of the Order of the Phoenix. One wonders why she would even know about it at all, if she had nothing to do with it.
Well, I think Lucius probably made sure a long time ago that everyone knew what Dumbledore (supposedly) said to him. I didn't get the feeling from that scene in the Wizengamot that Dumbledore-killing-Narcissa was any kind of a secret idea that people were just then finding out about. This does rather change my view of some of the peripheral details, though. Previously, one possibility I pictured was Dumbledore restraining Amelia from her vengeance until Aberforth died, then relenting. I knew Amelia Bones wasn't in the OotP, and I knew she felt distaste at Dumbledore's softness, but somehow I never completely drew the conclusion that she wouldn't care one whit about what Dumbledore said or thought, and therefore probably wouldn't have cared if he had tried to restrain her. Perhaps more likely, then, is the other way I pictured it: that Amelia couldn't get to Narcissa by herself, and after Aberforth's death, Dumbledore actively approached Amelia and said "Okay, I'm ready to help. I'll be the ward-breaker, you do the deed."
Whoops, looks like you're right, the accusation was public knowledge:
I think you miss that this is a work of fiction that has an author. Think about why the author was motivated to make certain choices instead of thinking why the characters were motivated.
That is actually the other reason that I believe as I do. It seems like a much more interesting storytelling decision for my theory to be correct than for the competitor theory to be.
How is it more interesting storytelling for the guy everyone thinks did it to have done it, as opposed to "Here's a puzzle and the clues to figure it out"?
Because it was a puzzle for the first what, 80 chapters? We're getting close to the end of the story as of about two arcs ago, it's time for puzzles to get solved. it's not an interesting enough puzzle to justify a double twist, IMO.
You think it's not an interesting puzzle because you think it's not a puzzle at all. :) And wouldn't it only be a double-twist if Dumbledore did do it? If Amelia Bones did it it would just be a single twist.
Baseline assumption: Team Death Eater is slandering Dumbledore when they claim he burned Narcissa Malfoy alive. Twist: Nope, Dumbledore actually did it. Double Twist: Or it was some random lady who used the word "burn" once. You know, whatever. One of these twists is revealing of important information about a main character, future motivation for interesting developments(Harry being forced to choose between Draco and Dumbledore over the promise, or Draco having to forgive his mother's murderer), a subversion of our expectations, and is reasonably predictable from evidence dropped in advance. One of them is irrelevant and a complete cop-out of all the character development built into the original twist. Take a guess which one I assume is more likely to be true. Amelia killing Narcissa would be the sort of thing M Night Shyamalan would write.
If that were indeed an accurate summary of the situation, I would agree with you. I did agree with you, when that was the only potential clue I knew of. All three major clues would be circumstantial in real life, but when you step out a level and see that Eliezer writes this story, choosing every word we read, it's clear that he wants us to figure out that Amelia has something more to do with Narcissa's death. It's just as important if Dumbledore didn't do it as it is if he did; it's another piece of evidence that he's not a huge evil hypocrite. Which many HPMoR readers seem to need. I think it'll be pretty interesting when Harry finds out that Amelia did it; Amelia was going for painful revenge, while Harry is already hemming and hawing over whether Dumbledore deserves to be an enemy if he did do it. Harry is much more likely to declare Amelia his enemy, and Amelia is much more likely to declare Harry her enemy. Sounds to me like Amelia would be the biggest subversion of your expectations! Given the several conversations I've had on this topic, I'm pretty sure that Amelia's guilt will be a subversion of most people's expectations. In fact, I and possibly pedanterrific may be the only ones in the entire readership whose expectations aren't subverted. I really don't understand why everyone thinks the three clues I identified are worth so much less than the clue-and-a-half we have about Dumbledore. And this is why I didn't actually mean to start this conversation again; this is the second or possibly third time that I've pushed someone to declare Eliezer a bad writer if my hypothesis proves true, who will now actually feel that way when it is proven true, where they probably would have just said "Huh!" before, or maybe even thought it was cool. I just don't get it. I don't understand people's reluctance to believe this, to step outside the text and realize that these are purposely written clues. Maybe it's because I'm acting all certain again; maybe perceived ov
As someone who takes clues in the form of literary convention, extrapolation of authorial intent, etc. on a regular basis, I just think you're really reaching.
As a general principle, it seems to me that most of us, most of the time, are really bad at recognizing the extent to which other people, even ones who are reasonably honest, sane and intelligent, can reach different conclusions from our own. This is a large part of why political and religious discussions get so overheated. What's not so clear to me is how far this is because so many people are so bad at thinking, and how far it's because the available evidence often really is that ambiguous. Naively it seems as if, for most questions that are in principle resolvable empirically, the totality of the available evidence should end up pointing very clearly one way or another, so persistent divergences must indicate either failures in thinking methods or something like confirmation bias where different people effectively see very different subsets of the evidence. (Both, alas, very plausible.) But given that even very intelligent people trying hard to be rational, with a reasonable knowledge of cognitive biases can end up holding quite different opinions, perhaps there's more real ambiguity than one would naively think. Or perhaps it's just that no human being is really "very intelligent"; the most we ever achieve is "very intelligent relative to the appalling baseline of human stupidity, and still really pretty stupid". ... But I digress; in the present case it seems fairly clear that there just isn't more than, say, 10:1 evidence for Dumbledore over Bones or vice versa. [EDITED some hours after posting, to fix a minor ambiguity I hadn't noticed.]
Maybe not 10:1, no. But one thing that does seem to have been lacking in all the dissents from my theory is any textual clues pointing to anyone else. Sometimes the people who object have harebrained ideas, like the person on Reddit who said that Regulus Black was a more likely suspect than Amelia Bones. Sometimes, they're committed that Dumbledore did it. But so far as I can tell — and please, please, please tell me if I'm missing anything — the only evidence for Dumbledore's guilt is 1. Lucius says that Dumbledore told him he did it. 2. Narcissa's death represented a strategic victory for the side of the war Dumbledore led. 3. Narcissa's death was subsequent to Aberforth's death. To me, that is what Eliezer does — information he explicitly gives us and points to and puts blinking lights around — to set the default starting point for the mystery. That is the baseline, boring, standard theory. The Amelia clues I keep bringing up, though, are different. I may do this completely wrong, but it is written: You can see Amelia make a "burn" reference, or say that she hates Bellatrix for killing her brother, or speak up in the Wizengamot, and say "That is some really, really circumstantial evidence." And in-universe, in the story, that's absolutely true. You could never justly convict someone in the real world on that evidence alone. But Eliezer wrote those lines. The same brain that created the Narcissa mystery in the first place also made these explicit decisions: "Amelia Bones thinks of burning for revenge. Amelia Bones's brother was killed by Narcissa's sister. Amelia Bones will be the one to speak up at Dumbledore about Narcissa's death." It seems to me that the Eliezer who believes that Amelia killed Narcissa is way more likely to make those three not-binary decisions that way than the Eliezer who believes that Dumbledore or someone else did it. Pfah. I'm no good at this. Eliezer, if you're reading this and I'm right, I'd like to cash in those Bayes Po
And yet, textual analysis of the same sort is exactly what led me to the Dumbledore theory. I wrote off Draco's comment as propaganda, and then Dumbledore's "They learned not to mess with our families" line clued me in that he did it. The line is too on-point for anything else - certainly more so than any of the Bones evidence. His motive is better, his textual clues are clearer, and he explicitly said that he did it. Doesn't a confession count for anything any more? I agree with your analytical methods. I just think you're misapplying them egregiously.
Saying "They learned not to mess with our families" with a stone cold look on his face is what you'd expect Dumbledore to do whether or not he killed Narcissa. The statement is a simple fact. The memory of Aberforth's death and mere knowledge of Narcissa's seems to me plenty sufficient to produce that line and that look. Harry has even explicitly thought that Dumbledore has acted consistent with either possibility. I grant that that thought was more about the "Only a fool would say 'Yea' or 'Nay' " line, but if Harry thinks the line you mentioned is evidence of guilt, he has failed to think it where we can hear him, even when he was thinking through this entire issue. Maybe, and yet the deed is still out of character for him, where it's not nearly as much for Amelia, and Amelia's motive is plenty good, given that Bellatrix was too powerful to attack directly. Such as they are, they're more explicit and blatant and obvious, yes. That just means it's a crappy mystery if you're right. I know I always say "Not everything that is mysterious to the characters is supposed to be mysterious to us", but that's more about things where we're supposed to use our enhanced knowledge of canon or alternate POVs, where it takes deliberate suspension of learning or blatant failures of reading comprehension to keep from admitting the truth. Not like this issue, that's obviously supposed to be a mystery that will be revealed later. Says Lucius. Maybe Dumbledore said he did it, or maybe he used weasel words to lead Lucius to that belief without lying, or maybe he admitted some involvement without saying he cast the spell that killed her. The fact is, Dumbledore had a vested interest in the bad guys’ believing that he did it; therefore, any alleged confessions made by Dumbledore to the bad guys should be treated with suspicion. EDIT: As a gesture of goodwill, let me post the best evidence I've seen that Dumbledore might have killed Narcissa, that I just now thought of and haven't seen
An interesting thought, and one that I had not considered in this light. And yet, right afterwards: This seems to make it clear to me that it is not that Dumbledore thought that he would never kill, and then Voldemort's war changed that, and he killed. It's that he thought that he should never kill, and then Voldemort himself became the exception, changed the rules so that he should kill Voldemort. At least, it is an alternate possibility.
There is, of course, the Third Option. Dumbledore did it, but he did not do it personally. If Dumbledore manipulated Bones into murdering Narcissa, then we would have a universe where both Dumbledore and Bones would be emotionally affected by her death, where Bones would not want Dumbledore to take the legal blame and where Dumbledore would willingly take the (informal) blame.
I don't think Amelia Bones is the kind of woman who needs to be manipulated by Dumbledore to get revenge. My similar hypothesis is that Amelia needed Dumbledore's help to infiltrate Malfoy Manor and pull it off. Aberforth's death provided the impetus for Dumbledore to help, but he didn't cast the spell.
Aumann's Agreement Theorem. None of us are rational or observant enough to qualify, unfortunately.
The Agreement Theorem is a consider-a-spherical-cow sort of result; its preconditions are absurdly strong. (In particular, the fact that the agents concerned are required not only to be perfect Bayesian reasoners but to have common knowledge that they are so.) But even without Aumann one might hope for better agreement than we actually see...
Eliezer's overconfidence script is dangerous.
Observation bias. Just because the two people mentioned speak up about it (presumably) so much more than others doesn't mean that they are the only ones who hold this belief. I share this belief with you, for instance. I find those hints to be convincing, narratively speaking.
Which is why I think it a significant possibility that Dumbledore helped in some way. Any of those defenses might be sufficient for a single clue, but you have to take the clues together. Three successive clues (plus her character) pointing to Amelia, and only some words spoken to Lucius that we never saw pointing to Albus (and everything else we know of his character pointing away from him, though I know some would argue that), increase the probability of Amelia's guilt quite a bit more than linearly.
I heard that it was na nppvqragny frys-xvyy ol Anepvffn hfvat Svraqsler ntnvafg fbzr rarzl.
I prefer the theory that qhzoyrqber hfrq svraqsler gb qrfgebl gur qvnel ubepehk jura ur gubhtug gur ubhfr jnf rzcgl, naq gura pynvzrq perqvg sbe anepvffn'f qrngu fb gung ure fnpevsvpr jbhyq abg or zrnavatyrff
Really? I remember being about eight years old, watching an episode of Power Rangers, and seeing some random no-name tourist drop a camera and the shot lingered on it for about half a second. My instant thought was "Oh, the bad guy is going to be built from a camera", and sure enough it was. They'd never have put that in the episode otherwise, and that was obvious to me at that age.
6ModusPonies10y []

He had the opportunity to make more than that prediction, and he failed to take it.

I totally get the point of the rest of your comment, but not this sentence. A correct prediction is meaningless because it wasn't accompanied by another correct prediction?

I'm not trying to toot my own horn here; I've gotten things wrong too, and my original comment in question here was much more about expressing my despair at Chapter 84 than trying to register a prediction for later credit. But I don't see how I had any particular "opportunity to make more than that prediction" that I failed to take, beyond the fact that anyone can make any prediction they feel like any time they feel like it.

A correct prediction is meaningless because it wasn't accompanied by another correct prediction?

More or less. Think of it in terms of selection bias: a bunch of people enter a lottery of some sort. After the lottery concludes, the lottery organizer Yliezer Eudkowsky praises the winner, entrant #57, for their deep insights into lotteries and how to guess the winning number and admonishes everyone who told #57 to not get his hopes up. Do we now credit #57 for wisdom and study his numerology? No, not really.

Now, if #57 had simultaneously entered 5 other lotteries and won 3 of them, then we would start wondering what #57's edge is and preorder #57's upcoming book Secrets of the RNG Illuminati. Or even if he had won none of those other lotteries and simply gotten 3 near-misses (5 out of 6 digits right, for example), that would still serve as replication of above-average predictive accuracy and not mere selection effects, and persuade us that something was going on there beyond randomness+post-hoc-selection.

Mm. I think there's wisdom in the approach of only making public predictions when you're very confident in them, and that may have been the only thing 75th was that confident in. (This isn't a very good approach for calibrating your brain's sense of uncertainty, but it has other benefits.)
You can always make public predictions with the confidence that you have on prediction book.
Could be that 'use 75th' only had the right information and mental algorithms to produce the correct prediction in this one case. Other cases 'user 75th' might not have passed a sufficient threshold of probability to spout out a prediction. Please label me as user 2nd when it comes to predictions of 'user 75th' 's predictive powers.
I doubt, though, that Harry will turn evil due to this.

I am breaking my "only comment on LW if you expect some benefit" rule because I am in a somewhat unique position to comment on this, and I agree with Eliezer that "penalizing people for sounding certain or uppity or above-the-status-you-assign-them can potentially lead you to ignore people who are actually competent". See, I made this update at an earlier time under not-dissimilar circumstances. (In short, I thought ArisKatsaris was making an overconfident prediction about HPMoR, bet against him, and lost.)

An excerpt from my journal, 3/28/2012:

Well, I lost my bet. But what did I learn? Give less probability mass to “some unknown possibility no one has thought of” when the number of people thinking is sufficiently large. Also, arrogant people may be arrogant because they’re usually right, so be careful of the impulse to smack them down.

So, you know, here's a chance to learn a $30 lesson for free, people.

I wasn't one of the downvotes, but if I'd seen it I would have been. I count 14 sentences in that post which each deserve an upvote, but then a 15th sentence which more than cancels out all the rest, not due to certainty, but due to literal malevolence! But you're awarding Bayes points for a combination of brilliant analysis and anti-goodness motivation? I thought we were anti-UFAI here...

Ha, interesting take. That last sentence was not actually an endorsement of horrible murderous things happening, it was just my way of saying "Now let's get down to business" about the home stretch of the story.

Thanks for the clarification! I retract my objections. As for the common criticism, although I'm as adamant as the next person here that "p=1" is impossible without infinite evidence, I don't think that fact demands that every casual conversation must quantify "1 minus epsilon" or even explicitly acknowledge it.
I went to check on the original comment, saw that I had downvoted it, and now I am embarrassed.
0Eliezer Yudkowsky10y
Upvoted for embarrassment.
Well, in the spirit of sticking your neck out: Harry was sorted into Slytherin. Dumbledore created Harry to be the ideal literary hero. Lord Voldemort doesn't want to conquer the world. Dumbledore is working on way more advance information than everyone else.

Counter-evidence: Harry produces blue and bronze sparks at Ollivander's.

As long as we're sticking necks out, though:

  • Definitely: The horcrux technology uses the ghost phenomenon. Specifically, by causing the violent death of a wizard under controlled conditions (i.e., murder) it's possible to harness the powerful burst of magic to make a ghost of the living caster instead of of the dying victim: a backup copy. A ghost may be static data rather than a running instance, but hey, so is a cryo patient.

  • Definitely: Baby Harry was overwritten with a horcrux-backup-copy of Voldemort. Voldemort didn't plan on childhood amnesia, though, and much of the information was erased (or at least made harder to access consciously). The Remembrall-like-the-Sun indicated the forgotten lifetime as Riddle. Remnants of Voldemort's memories are the reason Harrymort has a cold side; his upbringing in a loving family is the reason he has a warm side.

  • Mere hunch: In chapter 45, the Dementor recognized Harry as Voldemort and addressed him by name: "Riddle".

  • Mere hunch: Voldemort may have chosen to impress his horcrux in a living human in order to try to get around the "static data" pro

... (read more)
Some of the horcruxes in canon are made from murdering Muggles, though. I don't see anywhere that this happens in Chapter 45.
Very early in the chapter: "He had regained an impossible memory, for all that the Dementor had made him desecrate it. A strange word kept echoing in his mind." And later: "Harry glanced in the Dementor's direction. The word echoed in his mind again. All right, Harry thought to himself, if the Dementor is a riddle, what is the answer? And just like that, it was obvious." Once Harry figures out what Dementors are, he stops being able to hear their "voices", because he no longer sees (hears) them as sentient. But if "the word" was actually coming from the Dementor, I don't know what would've kept everyone else from hearing it.
Nice job!
I think Voldemort sets himself up to move from host to host, and who better to move into, than the hero who saves the world from Voldemort?
Does that mean that both Harry and Quirrel are Voldemort?
Without getting into a tiresome analysis of identity theory, Quirrell is currently almost entirely Voldemort, while Harry has a little of the devil in him.
Not yet, but that would seem to be a plausible end-game for Quirrelmort.
Well spotted.
This is canon. To a lesser extent, this is as well.
Let me be more specific then. *Dumbledore has had the intention of creating the boy who lived since before Harry's birth and likely, before his parent's marriage. *Dumbledore has access to many, many more prophecies than anyone else and has been using this fact for decades.
Those are vastly more interesting predictions. Plausible, and it'd be an interesting story if true.
I stand by my downvote. Not for the prediction, but for the way it was phrased. (That said, if the parts I considered to be melodrama turn out to be literally correct, I will revise it to an upvote)

Some of the melodramatic parts have already been proven right:

You will die horribly, dramatically, grotesquely, and utterly.

Both of her legs were eaten by a troll before she died, and as she died, she whispered to Harry, "Not your fault." Check.

You will die horribly, and Harry Potter will watch, and Harry Potter will crack open and fall apart and explode, but even he in all his desperation and fury will not be able to save you.


Interesting that Harry uses his med pack he bought in anticipation of almost exactly the scenario which played out when he used it, except that Hermione absolves him instead of cursing him.

“One of my classmates gets bitten by a horrible monster, and as I scrabble frantically in my mokeskin pouch for something that could help her, she looks at me sadly and with her last breath says, ‘Why weren’t you prepared?’ And then she dies, and I know as her eyes close that she won’t ever forgive me—”

The detailed foreshadowing often seems like part of the story, not just as aspect of the story. What is said comes true much more than it should, and in much more detail than it should. "Bitten" is a very specific way to die.

You know, speaking of foreshadowing...

That very quote led into McGonagall's theory that Harry had suffered some kind of trauma and had it Obliviated. And then there was that business with the Remembrall in chapter 17. I'd have to go back and check for more instances of Harry specifically foreshadowing a future event like this, but more and more I'm beginning to think that Harry has forgotten or locked foreknowledge that's leaking into his subconscious.

But in Chapter 17, McGongall rejects the theory that remembralls detect Obliviation.

“More importantly, why did the Remembrall go off like that?” Harry said. “Does it mean I’ve been Obliviated?”

“That puzzles me as well,” Professor McGonagall said slowly. “If it were that simple, I would think that the courts would use Remembralls, and they do not. I shall look into it, Mr. Potter.” She sighed. “You can go now.”

But, strange that Harry doesn't think to keep experimenting with the Remembrall.

But, strange that Harry doesn't think to keep experimenting with the Remembrall.

This bothered me as well. It's a mysterious phenomenon that directly relates to Harry's own mental state. He should have been all over that.

Harry had forgotten that he was not to use his timeturner in front of other people- a fact which got him a very stern rebuke from Mcgonagall.
That's plausible, but if so, it seems like a very disproportionate response from the Remembrall; that is assuming that under ordinary circumstances Remembralls light up like they do in canon, which I suppose is not necessarily a given.
From what we've seen of Wizard courts, they aren't exactly bastions of prudence and rationality.
And we never did hear back from her on that topic, did we?
Could he have forgotten without obliviation?
Don't go making that second checkmark yet - we're still within the Time-Turner window here. (I'd put it at maybe 2% that he manages to save her - EY doesn't seem the type for cheap copouts like that - but that's still high enough for a bit of bet-heging)

It's not going to happen. You don't hang that much drama on an event if you intend to reverse it quickly, unless you're going for comedy, and comedy doesn't make sense in this context.

That said, if you'd asked me a day ago I would have said that there are too many dangling plot threads surrounding her for the story to do what it just did, so it's probably a good idea to adjust your confidence of predictions based on narrative mechanics appropriately.

Like I said, very low odds. But Eliezer is a clever guy, he could plausibly figure out some way of bringing her back without tripping off too many narrative bullshit detectors.

It sounds like you might be mistaking Eliezer's role in this, and mistaking your desires for desires we can reasonably assign to Eliezer.

This isn't something that happened to the HP&tMoR version of Hermione Granger, this is something that Eliezer, the author did to the HP&tMoR version of Hermione Granger.

He did it for a reason. He's almost certainly been planning it all along. If it made him sad then it first made him sad quite some time ago. He's not feeling the surprised dismay you have today.

He wanted this.

He wanted the words written on the page to be written on the page, yes. That does not, strictly speaking, mean that he wants Hermione to be dead. He's been known to play with our expectations before, after all. Edit: To clarify, this is almost certainly wishful thinking talking, and I acknowledge that. But a guy can dream.
Edit: I just reread And now...well, I think the odds are below 1%. There's no elegant way to walk that back.
Time turners cannot alter anything the user knows about (for some value of `know'), so it would require reenacting this exact scene. So someone would have to simulate Harry's experiences, including the magical event, confuse Harry's patronus as to location of Hermione (or cause Hermione to actually be on scene, albeit invisible), and control the troll, so that it behaved exactly in the way Harry remembers it to have behaved. Also, Dumbledore would need not to tell Harry anything that he couldn't have lied when he said he was responding to the death of a student.
I'm betting Hermione is really, really dead (though Harry may yet resurrect her). However, remember that writing a story is often the inverse of reading it. It's like solving a maze by starting from the goal and working backward to the beginning: often much easier. If (big if) Hermione is resurrected and/or not really dead, then Eliezer very likely started from a narrative goal of having Harry see Hermione's horrible but fake/reversible death and then worked backwards from there to make it happen. As readers we have the much tougher task of working forward from the clues to the correct conclusion. That is, Eliezer did not have to figure out how to write himself out of this series of events. He constructed these events to lead to the conclusion he wants.
The soul releasing seems easy enough to fake, as does Hermione's comment to the Patronus. Hermione being under an invisibiliy cloak near fake-Hermione would do for the Patronus taking Harry to her(though screaming mid-combat would be quite dangerous, even invisible). The hardest part would be creating a fake Hermione sufficiently well to convince both the troll and Harry. Do we know of any magic sufficient to that task? Copying the form can be done, as was done with the Azkaban breakout, but the blood and the talking both seem outside the capabilities of that spell.
It's not obvious to me how to fake the soul releasing. It was perceived by the magic-sense, not just with the muggle senses.
Here's a miserable plot possibility. Hermione was concealed, something went wrong, and the feeling of her mind going past was because a number of other things happened, and the concealed Hermione was killed. Neutral plot possibility: usually, dying minds aren't felt in the wizarding world. Something unusual was going on, and I don't know what it was.
This seems unlikely. This would end up sounding a lot like "don't tamper with fate". That sort of thing is very common in time travel stories where someone tries to save someone's life, but it has a massively anti-transhumanist, pro-deathist vibe. I doubt Eliezer would do it.
I'm assuming that Hermione is going to be brought back somehow, so the implication isn't that you can't fight fate, it's that the world has wildly complicated plot twists.
This seems unlikely. There was a mention about ghosts being caused by "the burst of magic that accompanied the violent death of a wizard" (or something along those lines -- I don't feel like looking up the exact quote right now.)
Thank you for saying this. I've been hoping someone would make note of this. Don't people remember the fight with the bullies in ch 73? If the mad burst of intellect and magic and etc. was standard, they wouldn't have been able to fake it for even a second. Now, I'm not necessarily saying that the feeling was only because of something fishy going on. I'm just saying that it cannot be the standard.
Hmm. How about having someone else die in Hermione's place? I don't recall offhand if the death burst was recognizable as Hermione, but otherwise it seems doable. Dumbledore said he felt a student die and only realized it was Hermione once he saw her. You'd need polyjuice for the visual appearance, and either Hermione's presence or a fake Patronus for past-Harry to follow. Hermione is unlikely to go along with the plan willingly sho she'd need to be tricked or incapacitated. Hard to tell which would be easier. Given the last words, Hermione's doppelganger might need to be complicit with the plan. Easy to accomplish if it was Harry, but I think he's too utilitarian for that. He'd need someone loyal but expendable. Lesath would seem to fit the bill, but I wonder if he'd agree to literally die on Harry's command.
Either Dumbledore is on it and lied to Harry, or it was a student. Harry seemed to think so, but he was obviously biased by seeing Hermione. Doesn't it wear off after death? Ch92 spoiler: Ur'f nyvir ng qvaare naq ur unf ab gvzr-gheare (Uneel pna'g gnxr bgure crbcyr nybat), fb vg qbrfa'g frrz vg unq unccrarq. Overall, this plan requires at least 2 hard things to happen correctly: identical fake magic burst and getting real Hermione there and screaming or Patronus shenanigans. I disbelieve this strongly.
That's true, it's still possible. Nonetheless, there is still a scene where Harry watches Hermione die and can do nothing about it. So I'd consider that it checked even if he brings her back / somehow prevents it retroactively.
Certainty would have been inappropriate whether he turned out to be correct or not, but seeing it here, I took it as a prediction and not a guarantee, and regardless, any mistaken certainty should not be held against the hypothesis anyway.

From Chapter 6:

Harry was examining the wizarding equivalent of a first-aid kit, the Emergency Healing Pack Plus. There were two self-tightening tourniquets. A Stabilisation Potion, which would slow blood loss and prevent shock. A syringe of what looked like liquid fire, which was supposed to drastically slow circulation in a treated area while maintaining oxygenation of the blood for up to three minutes, if you needed to prevent a poison from spreading through the body. White cloth that could be wrapped over a part of the body to temporarily numb pain. Plus any number of other items that Harry totally failed to comprehend, like the "Dementor Exposure Treatment", which looked and smelled like ordinary chocolate. Or the "Bafflesnaffle Counter", which looked like a small quivering egg and carried a placard showing how to jam it up someone's nostril.

From Chapter 89:

"Fuego!" / "Incendio!" Harry heard, but he wasn't looking, he was reaching for the syringe of glowing orange liquid that was the oxygenating potion, pushing it into Hermione's neck at what Harry hoped was the carotid artery, to keep her brain alive even if her lungs or heart sto

... (read more)
Huh, reading that quote again it occurs to me that Harry doesn't reach for the oxygenating potion, he reaches for the syringe of glowing orange liquid that was the oxygenating potion. A truly prepared murderer would merely have to replace the syringe with... something else.
Man, that's brutal
How bad is it for someone's legs to be missing?

I think I've identified three techniques Eliezer uses to create associations in the readers' minds and promote ideas to their attention.

There's repetition. If you're sensitive to repetition then the repetition will drive you mad. Five false prophets, many uses of Grindelwald's name, and about a zillion instances of the phrase 'the old wizard'. Dumbledore is old, old, old.

There's placing two related ideas side by side. Like Harry wondering how magic could possibly work, then segueing into an 'analogy' to artificial intelligence. (Repeatedly, so it's a twofer.) Or the description of phoenix travel appearing in the same chapter as Harry confronting Dumbledore over Narcissa's death.

And there's the throwaway gag that contains the literal truth. "It's not like I'm an imperfect copy of someone else." "Let me know after it turns out that it was Professor Quirrell who did it."

And, perhaps, "And if you coincidentally crack the secret of immortality along the way, we'll just call it a bonus."

After Chapter 87, I thought it likely that Hermione's primary contribution to the story would be to rediscover the Philosopher's Stone through the application of the scientif... (read more)

What happened to Hermione was shocking and has nearly monopolized the posts in this thread so far.

There's aftermath coming, though, and I'd like to talk about that. Harry is probably in a lot of trouble. Here's a short list of rules violations:

  • He left the Great Hall when specifically warned that doing so would result in expulsion and when he's not allowed to be expelled.
  • He inspired other students to take up arms against their teachers, or their groundskeeper, or against their teachers by way of their teachers' groundskeeper, or something. It probably got even worse after he left.
  • He endangered other students, the twins, even before confronting the troll by way of unsafe broom usage. Point three see, and all that.
  • He revealed his super-secret patronus that Dumbledore told him to keep secret, a super secret.
  • He may have damaged His Father's Rock.
  • He transfigured something that burns, specifically so that it would do so.
  • He has committed himself to a course of action fundamentally at odds with participating in society in any reasonable fashion.

The transfiguration is probably the worst on the list, really. If Harry is lucid at the end of this chapter I expect there will be so... (read more)

He revealed his super-secret patronus that Dumbledore told him to keep secret, a super secret.

Not that it were very important, but actually Harry told Dumbledore to keep the patronus secret, not the other way around.

Also, merely seeing the Patronus isn't the problem. Understanding it is.

And knowing what it can do - killing a dementor, which they didn't see, though someone might be able to figure out that his super patronus is the reason why dementors are afraid of him.
Actually, even knowing what it can do doesn't break the mundane patronus.

I actually expected Harry to cast the Killing Curse as a last ditch desperation/rage effort. He knew what it does, has seen the wand movements and pronounciation (in the Dementor dream), knew and had the required state of mind. That should be enough to cast it, as per Ch26 ("He is in his sixth year at Hogwarts and he cast a high-level Dark curse without knowing what it did.").

Harry may have had the mood, but there's doubt about the Power, and there's also been multiple foreshadows of how broken low-level spells are, and a recent mention that he's he can't stop himself from noticing them. Hence "censors off".
Is the Killing Curse even difficult or costly in mana?
Alastor Moody (ala Onegl Pebhpu, We.) in Goblet of Fire.
That's... interesting. Incidentally, I'm not sure how broken elementary charms are in combat other than Transfiguration, and being particularly deadly with Transfiguration without killing yourself requires... not neccesarily Quirrel levels of mana, but some pretty fast transfiguration. It was always my perception that 1. In Azkaban, Harry had almost cast AK on Bellatrix and Quirrel and 2. Before Mad-eye explained that AK is homing and penetrates walls, that it had to be a fairly easy curse compared to, say, Fiendfire or a Cutting Charm or the Mass Accelerating Charm.
1) ...huh. I didn't get that impression. I mean, I certainly got the impression that Harry was going to kill them (starting with the auror) but he doesn't know AK, and one thing Harry has never had trouble with was coming up with clever ways of killing. 2) Um. Homing? I guess I can see where you got that impression, but that wasn't my interpretation at all. I thought it just meant that it will continue going on until it hits a soul, off in a straight line (though obviously I was curious about whether it will curve with the Earth, could you drill into the ground and give a pathway up for magma, etc.).
Hmmmm... Let me describe my perceptions of Rationalverse spells... Avada Kedavra: Moderate to fast bolt, at least a little bit homing or auto-targeting (Allegedly the Sumerian Simple Strike 'has a tendency to hit whatever you look at', this might be similar) at souls, penetrates all normal shields, penetrates at least a few inches of mundane material but probably cannot be targeted in a hugely indirect manner, or would be overpowered. If it homed really well, or was both auto-targetting and an instantaneous bolt, nobody would be able to dodge it. Also, I think that AK does not normally do material damage? The big question is: Why use AK rather than any other curse? Even a moderately powerful wizard should be quite lethal, let alone one educated by Dark Lord Verres. Voldemort is creative enough... Reasons I can think of that are actually stated are only that it penetrates shields and walls. If that were the only advantage, there would be no point in it. Incidentally, a certain irrational part of me will not be truly satisfied unless we see the Battle of Hogwarts, HPMOR style. Although it would hard to keep that to a visually exciting level, rather than HPJEV just burning everything...
Moderate to fast bolt seems reasonable. I don't really see it as homing so much as it tends to fly in the direction that you wish it to, without the ability to adjust its flightpath. It seems that it penetrates all shields, period. Also all materials, period. I mean, I don't get how you can see And think that it would only penetrate a few inches. I'm not saying that Moody is necessarily being completely truthful (though the silence of everyone else in the room is evidence to either truth or preestablished falsehoods) but from what he said, it looks like throwing up a rock or placing a suit of armor between you and the bolt wouldn't actually work. Those kinds of blocks worked in canon, and it did damage the objects. It just doesn't hurt what it hits when said object has a soul. Hugely indirect? Do you mean the bolt curving around to target the victim? Or do you mean shooting it from quite a ways away? It's a one-hit kill spell--if your opponent mostly dodges a Cutting Curse, only brushing them a bit, then they'd come away with a small cut. If they mostly dodge an AK, they're still dead. Also being able to ignore any sort of shield or cover--esp in the Rationverse with their much more complex and comprehensive shields--is incredibly helpful. Or at the very least, this is how I see it.
Only a few inches: There is a huge difference between typical house walls and all the walls in the path of several buildings. There is also a difference between that and a large chord of the Earth. (By comparison, modern heavy machine guns may penetrate a whole city block provided they don't hit anything really heavy, man-portable small arms may penetrate several weaker house walls, or some masonry.) Hugely Indirect: If you can shoot Avada Kedavra through a significant chord of the Earth, then it seems like it would be broken. Targetting might be a problem, but for all the uncreativity of Rationalverse wizards, they are not that bad. Power: Of course, we've only seen two lethal fights in the Rationalverse. (Team Weasley against the troll, and Quirrel against an Azkaban Auror). Team Weasley seems to use spells that seem like they would be instantly disabling if not fatal against a human, especially with more mana behind them. However, shields might change that significantly (How do shields interact with material forces? We've only ever seen this once. Most people use shields to protect against personal effect spells!) What about counterspells? (Unclear how this works, seems to care about stamina or mana, but we've never had a good description of them even though high-powered fighters use them a LOT, and Quirrel relies on them exclusively. Quirrel took a while to fight the Auror, but was going for shock, and not fighting anywhere near full strength. Plus he probably had to attack shields to avoid killing the Auror. What about Hypothetical Auror-Level HPEJV? If Harry can transfigure at a rate of 250 grams per second, he will be able to spam Muggle-style kinetic, directed energy, and explosive weapons, especially if he can use physical or magical air protection and armor. These also would benefit from having no audible incantation and a faster time to first impact. (Nothing like Lily Potter shredding Voldemort with a hail of Transfigured recoil-less rounds!) Granted,
I see. I didn't see it as "it will go through a wall," I saw it as "once it is fired, it will go through anything, and keep on going through it until it hits a soul." Which even on reflection appears to be the more correct interpretation, but that is just my view. don't think that they are that bad, that they could not figure out how to hit a moving target, with a projectile a few inches across, moving slow enough that it can be dodged within a few meters, without the ability to adjust the projectile midflight, through a significant chord of the Earth, when their highest math is apparently trigonometry (ch6)? From the tidbits we've heard about dueling and fighting, yes, shields change that considerably. Could you go into detail about how he could spam these things? I'm quite interested in the concept :)
I guess not a significant chord of the earth, but AK-sniping through huge amounts of intervening material still seems like something that would happen. Spammable Transfigured Muggle Weaponry: This could work a LOT of ways. All of these involve breaking McGonagall's Rules of Transfiguration, but could be made safe for the weapon-user and bystanders using various tricks such as transfiguring (maybe partial transfiguration) them out of very small objects, transfiguring them out of water or other nontoxic substances, or using magical or mundane air protection. Many of these might merit some way to easily provide transfiguration feedstock to one's wand. HPEJV might wrap a strip of duct tape around the end of his wand and transfigure tiny parts of it at a time. * It may be possible to transfigure matter in motion or radiation in flight (Fuzzy line!). If so, then hypothetical Harry with a rate of 1 kg/s can generate over 50 petawatts in beam power. (This would probably be fatal.). * Even if not, than Harry might Transfigure very small beam generation units, primed to fire, and let them fall away (or Finite them) as soon as they have fired. For example, one might transfigure a unit consisting of a super-radioactive (half-life in milliseconds) isotope and beam collimation assembly, or a laser rod in the process of firing from pre-charged capacitors. These devices would do their work as they either fall away or are suspended by telekinesis or some kind of frame. * Alternatively, one could simply transfigure Muggle weapons. McGonagall claims that Muggle guns are not too effective against a good wizard, but she probably is talking about normal small arms. Gyrojet (rocket) weapons or ones that work on the recoil-less rifle principle generate no recoil. Harry could transfigure a stripped-down multi-rocket-launcher or heavy Gyrojet machine pistol right into his hand, fire the entire magazine in less than a second, drop it, and tra
I thought this as well.

Or has Dumbledore found it so useful to carry a large rock around that "get a big rock, keep it with you at all times" is in the top five things he'd tell his younger self if he ever got the chance? Seriously -- the fuck?

The obvious interpretation of this is that spellcasting is a skill like any other, and practice develops it. By giving Harry an implausibly large object to carry, and then having him interact with the Transfiguration professor, Dumbledore can be fairly confident that Harry will try to transfigure the rock into something more reasonable to have in constant physical contact with him. This constant transfiguration practice will help Harry level up his abilities, and a huge rock is predictably useful in combat situations.

Here's a short list of rules violations:

He also showed off his unique partial transfiguration trick during combat, which Dumbledore was hoping he would save for the Final Battle.

Only if they autopsy the troll and figure out it was transfiguration and not something else. But I'm pretty sure Quirrellmort already knows Harry can do that.

He threw the troll's head over the wall, so its well away from anyone who could breathe in the gases, and a simple bubble-head charm should solve the problem. Given that the alternative was being eaten, he won't be punished for it (also, the most important thing is keeping partial transfiguration secret - other students would be told that Dumbledore killed the troll).

The twins were going to try to rescue Hermione anyway.

The twins will probably agree to keep the patronus secret.

While Harry and the twins did break a rule which was said to result in expulsion, they did almost save Hermione, which is more that the staff did. Expelling them would lose even more face then failing to follow through on a threat of expulsion would. Maybe McGonnigal will admit that when it comes to military matters, her students know more then she does. Maybe in future emergencies the 7th year generals will be able to countermand the orders of professors.

[EDIT: formatting]

-Downvoted for poor formatting.- -Please use carriage returns to separate your thoughts.- Edit: Thanks! (Upvoted for responding.)
Trolls already use continuous transformation on themselves; to find a needle in a haystack with a magnent, you first have to suspect there is a needle. Harry's partial transfiguration attempt(did that happen or...?) is probably more like a needle in a haystack of troll-magic. The only people who I think could spot it without knowing what they're looking for...already know about partial transfiguration. Edit: and then Dumbledore finite's the acid to prevent transfig. sickness. any chance of anyone else figuring it out by looking at the magic involved will be looking for a needle without a magnent.
You would suspect that something strange happened (worthy of an autopsy) if a first year killed a troll... unless of course he just snapped his fingers :)
There is no way Harry would get expelled. He is at Hogwarts for his protection - to be close to Dumbledore - not so that he can go to school.
Indeed! But they would also want his non-expulsion to be plausible without revealing how important he is, nor do they want Fred and George to be expelled. I think McGonnigal is going to have to lose face here.
I think that in the aftermath of Hermione's death, Harry's breaking the rules and leaving the Great Hall is barely even going to be a blip on the radar. I'd be surprised if McGonagall even brings it up. It seems too callous for her.
McGonnigal doesn't have the power to expulse students by her own decision anyway. That decision has to be made by Dumbledore.
I can't imagine that Harry, after having been through this event, gives even one iota of a shit about any of those things. When you declare war on the underlying fabric of reality, petty things like dark wizards, magical castles, and star systems really just aren't relevant in the grand scheme of things.
That's easy to say if you're not in the heat of battle. Declaring war on the fabric of reality has a lot more to it than simply ignoring its footsoldiers, and doing so is a bad strategy. An unfortunate (or possibly fortunate?) feature of the current fabric of reality is that super-sentiment doesn't give you super-power.
If you can read things like, "He may have damaged His Father's Rock." and not realize that it's not to be taken seriously-- Actually, that's an unfair assumption. You might be ignoring the humor intentionally. I don't know to what end you would do so, but that doesn't mean you don't. I'd like to hear how that tool works out for you, if it does much, if you don't mind. If you are blind to the humorous intent then I don't really have anything to tell you about it that you don't already know. I'm sure that if that were the case that you'd already be aware that people pity you.
I wouldn't worry about transfiguration sickness: breathing sulphuric acid is probably worse than breathing atomized(?) troll brain matter, and AFAIK sulphuric acid and its salts are either directly harmful or aren't absorbed anywhere interesting in a human. Now that you've pointed this out, I'm curious: why sulphuric acid? Hydrochloric is simpler.
I doubt that it matters. Sulphuric acid is an oxidizing acid that can do damage through either pH or oxidization while HCl can only ph. Also I think that sulphuric is a more typical acid to ancient alchemists. Furthermore, H2SO4 is a nonvolatile liquid and Harry only produced a small amount of it. Of course if you are Badass Adult Harry, you just transfigure a spot of Chlorine Trifluoride in the troll and watch it explode.
See this [] and just about everything else in that blog's "things I won't work with" category, which is hilarious (though there are a few links you might not want to follow if easily upset, notably the one about dimethyl mercury).
Oh, and here's a video [] of ClF3 encountering various things and doing what it does. Usually with a bright flash, a bang, and some smoke.
Someone's been reading Dungeon Keeper Ami. That molecule is obscure, mostly because of how incredibly impractical it is to make and handle.
I already knew about it when I read DKA's ClF3 chapter. Of course, if you can transfigure as fast as Quirrel can, you might be best off with a transfigured Iron Man suit.
That notion is absolutely awesome and I hope like hell it makes its way into the fic.
A certain foolishly romantic part of me will not be satisfied unless we get to see the huge fight from the end of Deadly Hallows, only with Chaos Army using a mix of weaponized Charms and flash-Transfiguration of Muggle weapons. Of course that's completely inappropriate for MoR, as HPEJV would, if it came to that, just resort to saturation-bombing with transfigured nukes or whatever. Assuming he couldn't use nanotech or some kind of ID-targeted curse or something else less... hollywood.
Dungeon Keeper Ami? Dude, just read Ignition by John Clark.
I'm curious why he didn't just use incendio
1. The mana cost for incendio is probably much higher than a thin sheet of transfig. 2. I think that incendio simply forms a blowtorch or igntes the outside of objects. Weaponized partial transfig will ALWAYS be more powerful than first-year spells at a first-year mana supply. Partial transfig can slice things up, which is what Harry needed to do.
I was thinking it would work as effectively because of the fire weakness thing and Harry shouldn't be magically depleted yet. Also it would be a lot safer than transfiguring sulfuric acid. Although it's possible the troll was enchanted to make it fire resistant and that Harry frankly didn't care whether he was violating the rules of transfiguration, and merely was worried about speed, but I'm inclined to think incendio would be faster.
Or maybe it's not a good idea to cast incendio while the tip of your wand is in a very enclosed location (for instance due to gases that you expect to be released). Or it's maybe that that the transfiguration requires no wand movements (reference: look at the setup used during the partial transfiguration experiment) as opposed to incendio. It's pretty hard to move your wand in some pattern when it's stuck through a troll's eye socket.
It's not a fire vulnerability. It's just that chemical change stops the regen. Just because burning cut troll flesh makes it not regen doesn't mean that it will penetrate. They're not highly flammable like Twilight/Luminosity vampires. If I was designing Muggle anti-troll weaponry, I'd be going for something to penetrate into the body and then spread incendiary material. Not a flamethrower. (Although first physically injuring trolls and then dousing them with napalm might work, sort of. Incendio in the troll's eye would just burn out the eye. Mana cost in HPMOR seems to affect cooldown more than castability of spells, and transfiguration seems to have no cooldown but (for Harry, Q and other powerful wizards are much faster) is time-consuming. Harry should be able to near-instantaneously slice-and-dice any transfigurable object by using very thin cutting boundaries, and even cause explosive separation by using compressed inert gas, or even a friction-sensitive explosive (most explosives form fairly nonhazardous materials) Even if the acid failed to prevent the regen, he could have dismembered the troll temporarily and bought time to try something else or to burn it. ETA: Also, Harry is now able to predict what forms of transfiguration are dangerous, and mild transfiguration sickness is not
I strongly suspect that Harry will start taking refuge in audacity from now on.

The Headmaster can feel when a student dies in Hogwarts. That's how he showed up the moment Hermione died.

But the Headmaster can also feel when a creature unknown to Hogwarts is in Hogwarts. That's how he showed up when Harry rejected his phoenix.

But so why didn't Dumbledore feel the troll and intercept it much sooner? I expect before long the Dumbledore-haters — both those in the story and those on Less Wrong and Reddit — will latch on to this as proof that Dumbledore has been evil all along.

The problem is, we know a thing or two about Hogwarts's wards by now. We know, for instance, that Salazar Slytherin was the one who wove them:

or by some entity which Salazar Slytherin keyed into his wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself.

Salazar Slytherin's wards. Salazar Slytherin, who left a basilisk that knew all his secrets. Secrets that Quirrellmort now knows.

Dumbledore will try to tell the wizarding world that the only explanation of Hermione's death is that Voldemort was behind the attack. This will be seen by the world as the same thing Headmaster Dippet actually did when Myrtle died: the accusation of an unlikely — "preposterous!" — scapegoat.

And now, Lucius... (read more)

Lucius is going to be outraged and lead an opposition to Dumbledore because the attempted murderer of his son, who he tried to send to Azkaban for 10 years, got killed in Hogwarts? I think that would seem a bit odd to everyone involved.

Lucius has means of his own, and had every reason to arrange Hermione's death.

No, Lucius is going to stir up an opposition to Dumbledore because Dumbledore is his hated enemy. Do you honestly think that Lucius would pass by any excuse to harm Dumbledore? (And he will have a easy time at it too. A troll loose in Hogwarts, killing a student? That will reflect extremely badly on Dumbledore, even from the viewpoint of the neutral factions.)
He'd pass on excuses that don't benefit him. He's the obvious suspect. Accomplishing the crime redounds to his reputation and benefit. Why spoil it? The alternative you propose would seem rather absurd in the face of everyone assuming Lucius arranged the death of Hermione in the first place, after failing to arrange her death in Azkaban.
You want everybody to think Lucius is behind it. They have no reason to want to think that. I think this is warping your thinking. From a basic political point of view, I find it unlikely that any but Dumbledore's allies would be trying to pin the blame on Malfoy. Here, tell you what. Predictions should be recorded. Here [] is my prediction on PredictionBook.
The Headmaster was off campus; it's not necessarily true that he can access all the Hogwarts wards from off campus. He did notice when Hermione died, but considering the giant soulsplosion it's likely that this was somewhat more obvious to him than a wards violation. Furthermore, considering the timing of his absences, it's likely that Dumbledore was off hunting Horcruxes - an excellent opportunity, therefore, for Quirrell to lure Dumbledore into a trap to induce magical radio silence. Politically speaking, it makes no sense for Dumbledore to kill Hermione. Even the Daily Prophet would have a hard time spinning that particular story. The Wizengamot's response to the death of Draco Malfoy's supposed assassin and Lucius Malfoy's hated enemy will not, no matter the circumstances, be to flock to Lucius' side. It would, however, still reflect very badly on Dumbledore; obviously, mountain trolls should not show up in schools, and the responsibility for preventing such things lies with him.
I think you're being generous to the wizarding public. Lucius Malfoy can probably prove — the Hogwarts wards can possibly prove — that neither Lucius nor Draco has been in Hogwarts for quite some time. It won't be too hard for Lucius to say the better-written equivalent of "Regardless of my personal feelings for Miss Granger, I would never besmirch House Malfoy by reneging in such brutal fashion on a matter of House honor. The question at hand is this: how could Dumbledore not have known the troll was in Hogwarts? And if he did know, where was he during the attack? If you would like to propose that Dumbledore and I were in collusion on the matter — well, I'm sure a simple show of hands will make clear how likely this assembly is to believe that." Not too hard for Lucius to talk his way out of. Very much harder for Dumbledore. EDIT: I agree that not all of Hogwarts's wards are necessarily available to Dumbledore off-campus. But the mechanisms of these two wards have been described identically: Poof, he appears, and says "I felt X". I wouldn't assume by default that two wards that function identically would differ in such an important aspect. DOUBLE EDIT: It could easily be said that it makes political sense for Dumbledore to kill Hermione, as an attempt to frame Lucius. But then, if Dumbledore doesn't actually speak up against Lucius… It is complicated. But I still think Dumbledore is in trouble, just from the perspective of Eliezer taking a more serious, realistic look at events from canon.
Honestly, I think you're the one overestimating the Wizarding public. The arguments from the wards aren't bad ones, necessarily, but they're technical ones. They won't play well. At best, they'll turn into conspiracy theories. Most of the public is going to look at the scene and see Lucius triumphant and Dumbledore with a black eye, and make the obvious conclusion. It will still be basically the same in front of the Wizengamot. Having Hermione killed under his own protection means trouble for Dumbledore - it would be the second major security incident at Hogwarts in less than a month, and the first student killed in fifty years. It's not an impossible black eye for Dumbledore to overcome, and he could surely take it if necessary. But... Dumbledore doesn't have a compelling reason to take the hit. Framing Lucius is not an especially good motive, particularly considering that half of the Wizengamot cares not one whit about Hermione Granger's life or death. And, if he did want her dead, he could have avoided the fallout by sending her home over Spring Break with a snake in her trunk. The technical argument... is still a bit above the Wizengamot. They might understand, "well, because of the wards this should have been impossible," but this will translate to "Lucius Malfoy found a way to trick Dumbledore's magic" and not "Hmm. Should Lucius Malfoy and his hired help really be in the same weight class as the Founders' wards?" Finally, you're assuming that Lucius wants to clear his name. I don't think this makes very much sense, either. Sure, it's bad PR in many circles, but Lucius already has a horrible reputation, and I don't expect he'll be terribly concerned. On the other hand, killing a student right under Dumbledore's nose would be an excellent show of force, and it would impress people that he cares rather more about. It might be exactly what he needs, in fact - I imagine his credibility took quite a hit when Hermione Granger managed to escape punishment for an a
I don't know about that. People like a winner. Being thwarted in his revenge against Hermione doesn't look so good, while killing an enemy under Dumbledore's protection does.
The only people who would view this event as "killing an enemy under Dumbledore's protection" and that the death of a first year girl makes Lucius look like a winner are going to be the people already on Lucius' side.
People like power, and those who have it. I am a little surprised that there has been no discussion of Lucius as the obvious suspect.
It was Quirrell in the books? And, lets face it, it fits fairly well if you assume he was the one targeting her from the beginning.
In canon, the troll was in Hogwarts already, because Dumbledore brought it in to guard the Sorcerer's Stone. If he did something similar in Methods!canon, then Quirrell could easily have taken advantage of this to escape notice by the wards.
No. In canon, there were two trolls. Everyone seems to forget this. But then again, in canon Hogwarts was never described as having the same kind of comprehensive ward system it has in HPMOR.
To be fair, Methods trolls are significantly more powerful, in keeping with the First Law of Fanfiction - or maybe just to lay the groundwork for this O_o

I haven't visited these threads for nearly a year; please forgive me if someone else has shared a similar prediction in the meantime.

I predict that Quirrell's goal is to start a war between magical people and non-magical people.

The student armies have been taught combat skills, organization, and discipline but they have not been indoctrinated. The text does not show that the student armies have been guided toward one faction or another within Magical Britain. Quite the opposite, they have been taught to work together across the 'house' lines that may have divided them in the past.

It would be counter-productive to prepare tools that could be as easily used by your enemies as yourself. So we may reason that all members of the student armies are already on the side Quirrell wants them on. One thing all members of the student armies have in common is that they are members of Magical Britain.

I have found nothing to suggest international tensions, so a war against another magical nation would be out of place in the text, as I understand it.

On the other hand, Quirrell had a downright emotional reaction when Harry declared his aspiration to be a scientist in chapter 20. After the end,... (read more)

I think Quirrell wants the leader of the magical side to be Harry rather than himself. Quirrell doesn't seem to recognize that Harry would side with the non-magical side instead. (Harry has noted some peculiarities in Quirrell's model of the world on several occasions, and based on Quirrell being both a Robin Hanson stand-in and Voldemort I suspect those peculiarities can be summarized as Quirrell failing to account for, for lack of a better word, "love.")

Quirrell doesn't seem to recognize that Harry would side with the non-magical side instead. (Harry has noted some peculiarities in Quirrell's model of the world on several occasions, and [...] I suspect those peculiarities can be summarized as Quirrell failing to account for, for lack of a better word, "love.")

Agree that Quirrell doesn't recognize this; agree that Quirrell's model is peculiar in failing to account for, for lack of a better word, "love"; disagree that the latter is the reason for the former. I don't think Quirrell would be wrong in predicting that even many Muggleborns will join him.

I haven't been following these threads enough to know whether it's even worth spelling out the obvious theory of what the "power the Dark Lord knows not" is in the Verresverse, but it seems pretty clear that it's neither "love" as in canon nor "science" as Harry suggests (and Snape disputes) in Ch. 86, but Harry's belief that a good future can actually be made to happen (and is worth fighting for), i.e. an interstellar transhumanist rationalist ethical civilization that has left death behind. That may not sound like "power", ... (read more)

In other words, the power the Dark Lord knows not is hope.

I don't think it can be usefully summarized into one punchy word (ETA: I don't think hope is quite the right way to describe what Quirrellmort is missing that's preventing him from creating and ruling over an intergalactic dark empire), but now that I thought for one minute about which one I would choose if I had to pick one, it would be one that doesn't at first brush sound like it fits into that slot at all:

The power the Dark Lord knows not is ambition.

The power the Dark Lord Knows Not is optimism?
After thinking about this for a minute I have to confirm my first impression: This is nonsense. The Dark Lord knows craptons of ambition. Any definition of 'ambition' for which the Dark Lord does not know it is a ridiculous definition. And if we're talking about Quirrellmort we've even heard him share his ambitions. Maybe he has somewhat less ambition than Harry but that's not sufficient for the claim to be reasonable.
*shrugs* So my opinion is that when one ambition is so much greater that the other isn't even distinguishable from zero unless you plot them on a log scale, it makes poetic sense to call the Dark Lord "not ambitious", even though I of course agree that Quirrellmort is ambitious compared to the median human. But if you don't agree that this is poetically appropriate, sure, fine. (I'll recall my disclaimer that I don't actually think that it makes sense to use just a single word to describe the concept -- seriously trying to do that strikes me as trying to make the discussion compliant with Dumbledorian thought-by-cliché.)
I agree with the concept above. Moreover, so does Quirrell: Now, every model I've made of Quirrellmort's prior actions do show him making his own opportunities, but the point remains--none of those opportunities (that I've modeled, predicted, or learned about) have aimed anywhere near any kind of genuine improvement of humanity in the way that Harry desires, not even fixing the flaws he himself observes. They've all just been about him achieving power. This feels odd to type, but it feels as though Quirrellmort's ambitions are...shallow.

Is there more to be said about Quirrell being a Robin Hanson stand-in? Was this covered in another thread? Does anyone have handy links to the relevant posts?

Well, it was mentioned in this comment thread [], and I thought it made a lot of sense.
Thanks. My infatuation with Quirrell might have faded a bit due to inactivity, but that thread has mortally wounded it. This Hanson guy is so deeply unmarketable that he made me stop liking a fictional character that might have been based on him. The part where he marginalizes the suffering of rape victims and that fact that this site still associates with him solidifies the "Less Wrong is not a place I can bring people" feeling I've kind of struggled with for a couple years now. That's two cringe-inducing passages of text in one day. Honestly, I liked the one where Hermione died better.

Robin often displays unusual confusions. I think that stems from a reliance on his explicit memory over implicit memory. If he doesn't have a theory to account for why society fails to distinguish songs by whether their lyrics are fictional, as we do with literature, then he considers that a puzzle to solve, even if he's never wanted society to draw that category to aid him in selecting songs.

So when Robin asks, "Why do we appear to value X more than Y", he's not making any claim about how he feels about X and Y. He disregards his feelings and intuitions, because they would mask opportunities to improve his explicit, formal, verbal, theoretical understanding.

This distinction between questions as a tool to point out when the audience is wrong and as a tool of apolitical inquiry closely mirrors the difference between questions as requests for favors and questions as inquiries. It's also similar to questions as argumentative challenges vs questions as inquiries.

Had you not heard of Robin Hanson before, and are you now basing your opinion of him largely on that thread? I think this is a bad way to get an accurate impression of a person.

I'd heard of him, of course. I'd never followed up. Naïvely, I didn't think I needed to. I'm basing my opinion of the penalty for being thought to associate with him based on a number of posts he made that were linked in that thread. The one about rape is the one that is likely to stick with me, The creepy face he makes in the picture doesn't help. To the sort of people with whom I aspire to keep company, insensitivity on certain topics signals lack of status, a lack of class. In coarser terms, he stepped in it. Then he went back to step in it again. When his steps were criticized he defended the quality of his shoes. I don't want to walk on the carpets he wiped it on.

Disliking Hanson is not about....

I think a question you should be asking yourself is why are you aspiring to keep company with people who would insist that you not associate with a website merely because it associates with someone who has politically incorrect ideas?
I suppose there might be success to be had, here. There might be network opportunities. There might be opportunities for friendship and other things I value. But the bar to entry is too high. I don't have a strong academic background. I was once close to math. I'd hold up two cross fingers and say, "Like this." But years, decades have come between us. My only education in philosophy is by proxy. I don't mean to paint a picture without hope, I'm a bright guy. I could maybe catch up if I applied myself, if I worked at it, if I let some other things slide for a while. I just mean to turn it around. I ask myself why I keep company with people who don't recognize how socially toxic it is to marginalize the suffering of rape victims. I ask myself if it is enough that they are one of many groups who espouse a form of self-improvement. Could it ever be enough? I suppose it's because the author of HP&tMoR is here, and might respond to someone's post on the topic. And I suppose it helps, too that no one has to know I'm here, participating. You guys really fail on the outreach. I hope that one day each and every one of you that hurts this community in that way understands the role you play in undoing something nice that could have been something beautiful. I admit to being evil, and am unashamed to look forward to your suffering.

You guys really fail on the outreach.

Um, LW is growing very well, thank you. In fact at this point I'm more worried about the 'unwilling to consider controversial ideas due to signaling' failure mode than the 'stop growing due to being too controversial' failure mode.

Or perhaps in this case we excel at screening.
On the contrary, I'm already here. The decision I shared, that stirred up so much hostility, wasn't that I was leaving. It's that I wasn't going to tell other people about Less Wrong. Only one of the dozen or so people I call friends in meatspace identifies as 'evil.' None of the scores of friendly acquaintances I have do. It's pretty uncommon.
No, what "stirred up so much hostility" was you're suggestion that we censor people for being "unmarketable".
Thanks. It's rather obvious once you point it out. Not the first time my self-centeredness has blinded me to the real reason people were cross with me, won't be the last. Censorship [] is necessary. The poison that kills your garden and undermines your movement won't always be the new blood or the outsider. Sometimes it will be someone you respect who steps out of bounds.
That post was about deleting people who refuse to engage in rational argument, not deleting posts that use rational argument in ways that are "unmarketable" as you put it. Let's put it this way, would you also suggest we delete all the posts critical of religion because it also puts of a lot of people?
the utility of censorship is not exclusive to the situations described in that post. But in the end, no. This conversation didn't start when I issued a call to action, but when I expressed a difficult decision I had made for myself. I didn't know that people were reading it as a directive until someone pointed that out. Anyway, it's far too late to change: that rape article is over two years old. "Better late than never" doesn't mean that late is always good enough. In this case, it's definitely not. In a world with wishes -- but where I didn't immediately wish for a world without wishes -- maybe I'd wish that Less Wrong would be image conscious enough to distance itself from people who unapologetically marginalize the suffering of rape victims, maybe not. But the call I get to make is whether or not to facilitate the process by which my friends and the people with whom I would like to be friends forget that I have any contact with Less Wrong. It is not whether or not to facilitate the process by which Less Wrong rehabilitates its status as a haven for creeps, creep enablers, or creep apologists.
This ad hominem filled screed, is an example of the kind of refusal to engage in rational argument that is worthy of censorship.
I think that in certain cases he does know he comes across as a jerk, but he just doesn't care. (Not sure about the rape post specifically.)
He only stepped in it because its a hot-button political topic, much like abortion. The chaotic and frankly insane responses to his posts makes me suspect that most of the readers are completely unable to divorce political and gut moral feelings from internal analytical processing. As an experiment, ask yourself how many dollars a rape is worth, how many dollars should be paid to prevent one. I suspect many of the posters in that thread will simply refuse to give a numerical answer. This is a clear indicator of mindkill.
Or an issue of how most humans are not willing to signal extreme utilitarianism because it is used easily to portray people as cold and hard. Moreover, most humans don't distinguish between "things I say for signaling" and "things I say because I believe them." So there are a lot of reasonable explanations for this without it being mindkilling. Also, some people really are just deontologists. Not being willing to answer such a question makes a lot more sense if one has a deontological rule that rape is always bad and wrong.
There's also the issue that talking about certain things in public in a particular way (and the internet counts as public) causes actual mental harm to people.
When someone is controversial for the sake of being controversial, it would be foolish for them to not anticipate consequences like no longer being accepted in mainstream company. Or ever company one or two standard deviations of 'daring' away from the mainstream in some cases. I get that it take bravery to do this kind of thing. (Or it could take foolishness. I'm not saying that's what happened here, but I wouldn't tell someone who believed to to be so that I had strong reason to believe they were wrong: I don't know the guy.) But being brave isn't a free pass to not deal with the consequences. And sometimes those consequences mean you aren't able to do as much good (or as much whatever you want) as you otherwise might. He took that risk in writing it. This site is taking a risk in continuing to associate with him. I am making the choice not to take the risk of reminding anyone not involve in Less Wrong that I read stuff here and sometimes post a trifle bit. Actually, thinking you can simplify and generalize human behavior down to rules like that is a clear indicator of mindkill. Let me break it down differently, not like anyone else is going to see this since they're all in the new thread. * Person A is hurt because their authority to control sexual access to person B is violated. * Person C is hurt because their authority to control sexual access to themselves is violated. Claiming equivalency between the injury to person A and the injury to person C is very insensitive. Hinting that person A's suffering is greater takes a few steps further. It's kind of dumb, too. The people I'm talking about don't shy away from rape. They might have, at one point, but one of them was a student to Craig Palmer, who has been rather vilified for writing a frank book on the topic. Yeah, it's an anecdote, but it's in answer to your anecdote for whatever that's worth.
See also []
As far as I know Robin Hanson never uses "bravery" to justify himself, that was an argument attributed to him by loserthree as a way to justify shutting him up.
I won't address the first part of your post; I think it is largely correct. We are, after all, responsible for our own actions. However, for the second part, I don't think that anyone is even remotely trying to claim the equivalency you're describing above. It's most definitely a straw man argument. If nothing else, the first claim should read more properly as "Person A is hurt because they have become legally responsible for a new human being and half of all associated costs and maintenance for that new human being for a period of no less than 21 years, in a situation where person A is not responsible for the creation of said new human being." After all, we are responsible for our own actions. Not necessarily those of someone else. (Side note: the 'control of sexual access' part doesn't make any sense, other than to construct a strawman. I don't understand at all why you felt that to be a legitimate argument or position.)
Comparing the best-case scenario outcome of one thing with the worst-case scenario outcome of another thing sounds disingenuous to me.
What does this have to do with the quoted point?
Trigger warning: comparisons involving rape If you (generic “you”) must compare being raped to being cuckolded, you don't get to compare the least bad case of the former (“gentle, silent rape” of an unconscious woman leading to no physical injury, no STD, no pregnancy, and no memory) with one of the worst possible outcomes for the latter (your wife gets pregnant, gives birth to a child, and you never find out it's not yours until you've spent a bajillion dollars). (I wish I could downvote myself.) Edit: from the upvotes and the asterisk, it looks like I had already submitted the comment hours ago and was editing it, as opposed to being composing it in the first place. I don't remember what the original submitted version looked like.

If you don't take some time to explore Robin Hanson's ideas in good faith you will miss out on a lot. What you see as a weakness is in fact his great strength as a rationalist. "Curiosity about humans and unconstrained by social norms." You may object, saying that you don't mind this, but any such response basically boils down to "I like X when it isn't too X."

The red flags aren't there because he is unaware of their existence. Indeed I bet Hanson can win quite well at social games. They are there because he systematically relies on his explicit/theoretical rather than implicit knowledge to expose where the gaps of the former are and then tries hard to fill them.


Driving away people who are going to care more about social status signaling than about rationality is a feature, not a bug.

That path will lead you and any you influence to isolation and obscurity.

If you seek only to better yourself then that monastic sort of approach might actually help you out. But if you want to change the world you need to first change your attitude toward social status signaling.

Surely there are better ways to change the world then bringing more people into movements! I'm only tangentially involved with this rationality stuff, but I've gotten the impression that one of its great strengths is in bringing together a lot of very smart people, who can then go on to have more concrete impacts in other ways. If that's accurate, bringing in people who'd be scared off by Hanson would be actively detrimental to the goal of changing the world. What goals do you have that are better served by quantity than quality? (I have both goals that I need to think about quantity for and goals that I need to think about quality for. I try to keep them separate.)
Why dither when you can have both? The indiscreet have no monopoly on either intelligence or rationality.

But you're talking about bringing in people known to fail at rationality due to signaling games. Do you think they can be eventually brought around, or?

Everyone fails at rationality due to signaling games.
Yes, but not everyone insists on guilt by association with anyone saying politically incorrect things.
No, but enough people do that it's an important consideration. I don't mean that a "little guilt by association with anyone saying politically incorrect things" is enough to immediately roll back whatever one was doing. But it's enough to reevaluate. And, on reevaluation, it added more weight to a damning line of thought that already existed. So I've weighed both sides and found yours wanting. Your hostile reaction isn't doing you any favors. In fact, it convinces me all the more that the path I'm turning away from, the one where I introduce friends to Less Wrong, was not a worthwhile path.
Going by your description of your friends, I'm inclined to agree.
I just want to say that I like this comment, and you are a pretty cool guy.
One of my myriad goals is to share the concepts and (ah-hem) methods of rationality with future students of mine, through mere source linking in the beginning and with a more interwoven manner after I am already established in my teaching career. This is not only better served by quantity, it's designed specifically to increase quantity, for the benefits that having a more rational population bring.
Harry would be on his own side, and Quirrell would not be particularly welcome there even without the information Harry lacks.
Doesn't that sound a little familiar to you? Like there's someone around here like that?
I... disagree with this. More likely he is disgusted with the failure of scientists to utilize their powers.

A nice touch when Harry is fighting the troll: When he engages his killer instinct, from then on the troll is only referred to as the "enemy", in one case even with a capital E.

Interestingly, while Harry explicitly mentions "censors off" (concerning no more screening off of potential killing methods), that mode of thinking also engages other filters, dehumanizing (de-troll-izing) the creature he's fighting and only seeing it as "the Enemy".

Another nice touch: Quirrell's thoughts do the same.
My explicit hope is that Harry is doing that intentionally, after carefully determining whether the troll needs to die or not. For (what I think is) the purpose of increasing his chance of success. He seems exactly the kind of guy who'd temporarily manipulate and self-decieve himself for high instrumental utility, and has demonstrated the ability in the past (with the Dementors in TSPE). The main competing hypothesis is rationalizations from an influential Dark Side, which seems less likely. (~10%)
He'd already thought " twins get eaten". so...yeah.

Two interesting observations: The most recent utterances of the words "temporal pressure" (similar to the titles of these last two chapters) was in chapter 86 when discussing the Halls of Prophecy:

""The Hall of Prophecy," Minerva whispered. She'd read about that place, said to be a great room of shelves filled with glowing orbs, one after another appearing over the years. Merlin himself had wrought it, it was said; the greatest wizard's final slap to the face of Fate. Not all prophecies conduced to the good; and Merlin had wished for at least those spoken of in prophecy, to know what had been spoken of them. That was the respect Merlin had given to their free will, that Destiny might not control them from the outside, unwitting. Those mentioned within a prophecy would have an glowing orb float to their hand, and then hear the prophet's true voice speaking. Others who tried to touch an orb, it was said, would be driven mad - or possibly just have their heads explode, the legends were unclear on this point. Whatever Merlin's original intention, the Unspeakables hadn't let anyone enter in centuries, so far as she'd heard. Works of the Ancient Wizards had st

... (read more)

I was under the impression that "temporal pressure" referred to some kind of mysterious Fate-like force that occasionally compels seers to release prophecies when important parts of the future gets resolved. That could just be Harry's new resolve to do anything necessary to get Hermione back (in addition to "time pressure" meaning the pressure he was under to get to Hermione on time). Is there a particular reason the "fracturing feeling" needs to be externally imposed rather than, y'know, a perfectly reasonable emotional reaction to current events?

On the other hand, Eliezer has mentioned that he wants to go through common tropes but do them better. He hasn't really done a full-blown Peggy Sue yet, although he's poked fun at the idea, and I'm pretty sure I remember Eliezer saying that he's read Harry Potter and the Wastelands of Time, which is a Peggy Sue fic in which Harry finds Atlantis and weird things happen involving time, so... (recommended for the awesome ideas, but if you're like me you'll get annoyed by the way Harry talks.)

Please don't tell me he's going to go Nox [] or Caster-4 [] on us. Oh, who am I kidding. It's Harry, he'll probably succeed and then it will all Go Horribly Right.

Time Pressure - the arc title - could also be a reference to the book of the same name by Spider Robinson.

Rot 13 Spoilers for Time Pressure and other Lifehouse/Deathkiller novels By SR:

Va guvf obbx frevrf, gvzr geniryyref jvgu fhssvpvragyl nqinaprq grpuabybtl tb onpx va gvzr gb renqvpngr qrngu creznaragyl ol erpbeqvat nyy uhzna oenva fgngrf nf gurl qvr guebhtubhg nyy bs uvfgbel fb gung gur pna nyy or erfheerpgrq ntnva va gur shgher, pbaprnyvat gung gurl'er qbvat guvf gb cerirag grzcbeny cnenqbkrf. Gur pbasyvpgf bs gur abiryf frg va guvf frdhrapr nevfr jura crbcyr qvfpbire gvzr geniryyref be gurve grpuabybtvpny cnencureanyvn naq unir gb or rvgure fvyraprq ol zrzbel-jvcr grpu be bgurejvfr oebhtug gb n fgngr hayvxryl gb cebqhpr cnenqbkrf.

Eliezer I think the facts at least are as described. Hermione is certainly lying in a pool of blood, something significant did happen to her (Harry felt the magic), and Dumbeldore definitely believe Hermione is dead. If there is a time turner involved, it won't change those perceptions one bit, And I doubt Dumbeldore would try too Mess With Time ever again (as mentioned in the Azkaban arc). Harry might, but he's out of his Time Turner Authorized Range. Even then, it looks like he's thinking longer term than that.
Making Hermione a horcrux in the last 6 hours of her life doesn't violate any observed facts.

Although I'm not at all sure it was deliberate (is there a way to submit potential typos?), we may have just gotten some new evidence about the true nature of magic. In Ch 89 Fred/George cast a spell solely from the memory of seeing Dumbledore cast it ("Deligitor prodi"), got the incantation wrong ("Deligitor prodeas"), and yet still achieved an (apparently) identical effect (The summoning of the Sorting Hat). It appears that if this is legitimate evidence rather than a typo, magic has an error bound for the correct pronunciation of spells.

"Prodi" is the imperative ("come forth"), "prodeas" is the subjunctive (here used in supplication, for which there is no precise English translation; perhaps "wouldst thou come forth").

Which itself suggests something quite interesting about the nature of incantations... unless it's not actually an incantation, just talking to Hogwarts in Latin.

Well, in the first usage, Dumbledore did seem to be addressing Hogwarts ("Hogwarts! Deligitor prodi"), so it's possible, but Fred/George didn't do that. I suppose it is possible that Eliezer just used the subjunctive form rather than the imperative accidentally, but I'm not sure if I want to count on that :D
Note that this seems to contradict the glowing bat experiments performed in chapter 22.
It may be that this is only true for some spells? Although, to be honest, I'm leaning towards it either being a typo or not an incantation, just communication with Hogwarts.
If doing magic for more time makes one stronger (which seems to be a hypothesis taken seriously in HPMR), then it is possible that as one gets more powerful, the increased power can compensate for the incorrect pronunciation. In fact, this also may explain to some extent how less powerful witches and wizards can't cast some spells. In some cases it may be that the orally transmitted version of the spell is not quite right, but that doesn't matter as much for the more powerful spellcasters. A problem with this hypothesis is that one would then expect there to be weak spells which could only be cast by powerful mages and we haven't seen any indication of that.
Point against: Professor Whatsisname, the presumably quite-powerful dueling legend, learned/developed "Stuporfy", which is intentionally meant to sound almost exactly like "Stupify". If powerful wizards get a pass on their pronunciation, how is it that a powerful wizard can effectively differentiate those two similar spells when casting?
Yes, that undermines the suggestion considerably.
This might be different when you're manipulating unthinking magic system rather than addressing a sentient entity such as the sorting hat.

Most of the plans to use time turning to fix this are massively overly complicated, by the way. Best bet is to swap the oxygenating potion for something which will make her death less permanent.

Which Harry can find or have made in < 6 hours.

Options: 1: Elixir of life. The stone is at hand, Snape is at hand. It is possible that shout is what taking it looks like. 2: Undeath. The potter verse does have vampires, and they are integrated in magical society at least to the extent that seeing one in a bad neighborhood is not grounds for an auror raid. Werewolf infection might also do it. 3: Draught of living death?

I'm ruling that MoR!Vampirism does not indefinitely extend life or Voldemort would be a vampire (HPN20), similarly werewolves do not regenerate or Moody would be a werewolf.

Well, at this precise moment Harry cares rather a lot more about moving her out of the "Dead" state than he does about rendering her immortal, so if vampires have a finite lifespan, that is not an unacceptable drawback at this particular juncture. (.. and would outright be an advantage if it means she gets out of being stuck at age 12. Not that having her stuck at age 12 would stop Harry. That can be fixed when he is not staring down a 6 hour timer) Further upsides; keeping her rising on the quiet would shield her from repeated attempts at ending her, if he can swing that. Likely downsides: 1:Feeding. But there has to be an acceptable solution to that, or the magical community would not tolerate vampires at all. On the other hand, the wizarding world generally fails ethics 101 very badly, so maybe they are just all hypnotizing people into being faux-willing donors. 2:Might no longer count as a witch. Giving her the brick powerset of a stereotypical vamp would be a hilarious mismatch for her personality. That all assumes vampires have continuity of personality with who they were, but if that is not the case I would be somewhat puzzled why they are tolerated. Also, that turning her is workable. If the process of becoming a vampire takes a year and a day or requires her to die from a vampire bite..
Don't werewolves have the "go psychopath once a month" problem?
Nothing to do with psychopaths, but regardless: it is predictable, medically treatable in canon, and also easily neutralized by ordinary mechanisms of confinement. If that were a method of immortality, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
If you ran the numbers, would regeneration from injury at the cost of losing human thought for three days a month* actually be worth it for most people? So far as I know, being a werewolf doesn't help with aging. I'm not sure if there's a default for whether it helps with illness. *more or less. I think that some versions only become wolves at night.
I did say it'd be a complete no-brainer for immortality, but if we rule that out... In HP it's just one night, IIRC (discussed in Azkaban). Regeneration from injury is probably not worth sacrificing 1/60th of a life (month has 30 days, you lose a night from a day, hence 1/60), but it is probably worth chugging the wolfsbane potion depending on costs. If being a werewolf fended against generic disease, not just injury, then it'd resume being a complete nobrainer.
What Nancy said. Also given Moody's paranoia, being dependent on something so easy to sabotage for one day a month is a huge downside.
Well, sure it doesn't. It just prevents you aging, while giving you a vast suite of easily-exploited, well-known weaknesses - some of which appear to be psychological blindspots/compulsions, and the rest of which instantly and permanently destroy you, and are easily duplicated (but not easily negated, for the most part) via magic. Oh, and your STR and DEX scores go up a bit, I guess. Disclaimer: This assumes MOR!Potterverse!Vampires don't run on the Buffy you-get-replaced-by-a-demon principle or the Anne Rice tortured-romantic-deathgod principle, AKA Twilight Syndrome - but still retain most of their standard pop-culture properties (as do most Potterverse creatures that aren't original creations.)
Hmm []. Two bottles seem possibly worth trying if nothing better comes to mind. (Though messing with the oxygenating potion could haveon-will kill her.)

Wild Mass Guessing (that I don't believe in, but would be cool):

When Hermione fought Draco, and cast the Blood-Chilling charm on him with intent to kill, Hat-And-Cloak!Quirrell activated the spell to create a Horcrux of Hermione, which he can now use to blackmail Harry.

That would imply that only an attempted murder can create a horcrux. With the right self-delusion or whatever, one might be able to mass-produce horcruxes and train an army capable of ruthless action at the same time.

Dumbledore believes an actual murder is needed to create a Horcrux. And as far as we know, he is right, unfortunately.
What I'm puzzled by is the paralell between the violent use of magical cooling against Draco & the preservative use of it on Hermione.

I'm mildly surprised no-one has speculated on what Harry will do next. He won't accept that Hermione is dead, and I'm guessing that it will occur to him that transfiguring her into a steel ball and then freezing it (I'm pretty sure there's a spell for that) provides a quick and easy form of cryonics, which as an added bonus bypasses the problem of ice crystal formation.

How to resurrect her is the tricky bit.


I would nominate the Blood-Cooling Charm as a convenient and adequately-foreshadowed first response. Like packing a recently-deceased patient in ice, that will buy her enough time until she can be properly cryopreserved. That is, literally stuffed in the fridge. One of the FFnet reviewers had it right: this chapter was an epic troll.

ETA: Gah! Bleugh. There's just no getting rid of the taste of a wrong prediction. It's like a mouth full of soy sauce.

Cryonics doesn't work on someone that's already dead, and Harry's not so distraught that he won't recognize that. I also don't think Harry can sustain a transfiguration like that for long without exhausting his limited supply of magical energy. Harry has evidence that some soul-like thing left Hermione's body, so if he wants to revive her he needs to get it back. I vote for reverse-engineering Time Turners and doing some more substantive kind of time magic, since that would also serve many of his other goals, although maybe Eliezer will prohibit that because it would allow him to get too powerful too quickly.

Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do. ... Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

Cryonics doesn't work on someone that's already dead

What about all the people who signed up to get frozen after they die?

Point, I wasn't carefully distinguishing between legal / clinical death and information-theoretic death. But I think there is reason (namely the magical echo) to believe that Hermione is currently information-theoretically dead, or at the very least has lost her magic.

Do you think Harry would care even the tiniest bit about her losing her magic if she came back to life?

I mean... yes, but not enough to not bring her back to life.

No. I mention that as an alternative hypothesis about what happened, but my dominant hypothesis is still that Hermione has lost her soul or whatever and so her body as it stands is information-theoretically dead. If Harry wants to bring her back to her life, he needs to track down her soul.

But for your reasoning upthread to work, Harry has to be so sure that the outpouring of magic carried all the information about Hermione that it's not worth it to him to try and protect her brain, and with (a) his protestations that brain damage means that the information must be in the brain and (b) there not being a shred of evidence that I can remember off the top of my head that Muggles require any magic to run (in which case witches/wizards' brains/souls would presumably have to work completely differently from Muggles), I don't think Harry is at a point where he can conclude that the chance of reviving her by saving the body is so low that he should concentrate his efforts on chasing her souly-looking emanation of magic.

Fair point.
Harry currently thinks that Atlantis is some form of system that locks onto human bodies with the Blood Of Atlantis gene and detects their commands (spells, odd potion-making actions, etc). A simple explanation for Horcrux is that it is basically a form of uploading. Although that would make it seem overly simple for Sufficiently Creative Harry to find a way to make horcruxes without human sacrifice. Alternatively, a wizard's soul has read-only access to their brain.
I'm not claiming that recoverable info-containing souls are a completely crazy outlandish hypothesis; I merely claim that Harry is nowhere near having enough support for this hypothesis to stake Hermione's life on it being true.
I find it somewhat unlikely that this magical echo is supposed to equate to information-theoretic death if it occurred within a span of seconds after Hermione was still capable of talking.
? I wasn't aware cryonics had ever been done on someone that's already alive.
(Assuming that you meant to say "still alive" and interpreting this as "had ever been done on somebody who wasn't clinically/legally dead"; not sure that that's what you meant, but if not, I don't understand your comment:) Qiaochu has already explained [] that he was talking about information-theoretic death there. (ETA: If you meant that nobody's actually been brought back to life, that still doesn't seem to conflict with the correct-by-definition claim that cryonics doesn't work after information-theoretic death.)
I think Qiaochu_Yuan is referring to cryobiology; I don't know how far the military is with its suspended animation trials, but I think it's possible they've done it to people (I know they've successfully done it to dogs).
While I agree with the rest of the comment, this part is strictly false. We know that Harry can sustain a transfiguration roughly like that indefinitely, as evidenced by his father's rock.
I would be surprised if it took comparable amounts of magical energy to keep a rock transfigured vs. a human body, but who knows how the energy requirements of transfiguration really work.
I thought it worked by size? I'm pretty sure that was stated earlier in the story. And I'd imagine that a boulder like Harry's father's rock could be roughly a similar size/wight/mass to a 12 year old girl.
Hmm. My guess, based on the kind of logic that seems to govern most magic, would have been that the amount of magical energy required has something to do with how different the two things you're transfiguring between are. But again, who knows how the energy requirements of transfiguration really work. I was also under the impression that Harry had to keep the rock with him at all times to keep it transfigured. Would he also have to keep Hermione with him at all times? Also, the transfiguration stops if Harry exhausts his magic for whatever other reason, and I don't think he'd want to risk that happening to Hermione.
He now has a ring on his hand without a jewel. He could put Hermione there.

How romantic, in a very... Well, something.

I mean... "keeping your best female friend's dead body on a ring on your finger"...

As it happens, I was reading the The Black Company dark fantasy series lat month; one of the powerful wizards in it, Shifter (he's a shapeshifter specialist) goes around with a staff carved into a beautiful woman - which was originally just that. He's a quasi-insane evil villain. So... the fantasy precedents aren't that great, I guess I am saying.
I suspect the ring is Hermione. The dead body in the cell is probably a death doll made from the old ring.
Magical exhaustion would mean cutting off his finger with a restored Hermione. That's why the rock was transfigured into a jewel and not a ring.
I’m not trying to imply anything naughty here, but Hermione is somewhat softer than that rock. (Until you see her angry.) Not to mention he doesn’t have any obvious need to keep Hermione on his finger all the time, unlike the rock. Just long enough to find some safe spot to hide her. (Unless he plans to revive her within the next couple of days.)
It's not a long-term solution, especially given Harry's exciting life. But it's better than no solution. There'll be time to brainstorm a better storage system later.
As far as I can tell, transfiguration mana requirements are based on the size of the assumed form, and there can be a huge size change (such as a 20 kg? rocket from a small ice cube taking a long time) and the very easy partial-transfiguration slicing. Harry doesn't need to keep the rock at all times. He just needs to contact it more often than once every transfiguration duration.
What makes you think that she's dead? Dumbledore saying so, even though she did not experience sudden injury (per the established wards of Hogwarts)? Were her legs bitten off slowly enough to not qualify, or was the Blood-Cooling Charm used against Malfoy excessive underkill?

Dumbledore saying so

Yes. At this point in the story, Dumbledore knows a lot more than Harry does about how magical people die.

People believed for a long time that cessation of heartbeat is irreversible. While this is less likely to be such a mistake (wizards have some stasis spells for medical use, so at least sometimes they would have more time to assess whether anything works on such a supposedly dead person), it's still possible. Also, I'd like to posit this: this is the moment the magic decides the person is no more and from this point on any magic that works on a person won't work on him/her. But, nonmagical intervention and spells that aren't designed to target a person could still reverse it.
This is a good point, and furthermore in the story it goes straight from Hermione saying her last words to her death , whereas in real life I believe if circulation stops instantly (which isn't exactly the case here) you lose consciousness within 15 seconds, but it takes 4 minutes before brain damage starts. Which means they still have time to perform a blood transfusion and try to save her. More generally, has any wizard/witch ever been brought back after their heart stopped? Does the soul reenter the body? If not, do they end up in a coma, or do they maybe get a new soul? Even if wizards do not practice cpr, surely some wizards would have had heart attacks while in the presence of muggles.
CPR started to spread in the 1960s. [] Given how few wizards there are, and how little time most of them spend in the company of muggles, my no-actual-math-involved guess is that it isn't that likely.
I seem to remember that the wizard population of the UK is about 10000, which would extrapolate to 1 000 000 worldwide. Given that many wizards do have muggle family... Ok, some math - conservativly speaking, if 10% of wizards have contact with muggles, and spend 1% of their time in the company of these muggles, with an average death rate of .6%, 40% of which is by heart attack, but only 40% of heart attacks are fatal, and 10% of the times that a heart attack happens in the presence of muggles the wizard dies and then the heart is restarted, then there would be an average of .6 wizards being brought back from the dead per year. But more to the point, surely some muggle-born wizards would practice cpr, or even improve on it using magic? With a population of 1000000, surely someone sometime would have transfigured a defibrillator in an emergency?
Possibly the Horcrux is simply a spell to transfer the Atlantis user account to a magical soul?
We also have reason to believe Dumbledore has a motive to convince Harry that death is inevitable. ETA: and no evidence supporting the hypothesis that what was killed is Hermione, instead of a simulacrum; we only have absurd priors that it was her, and the evidence suggests that one of our very likely priors is wrong.

When asked to find Hermione, why would Harry's Patronus have found a simulacrum instead of the real one?

Because the real Hermione was under an invisibility cloak ten feet away. (Not saying this is how it happened, but it does explain that part of the riddle)
From Chapter 56: It would have had to have been a different cloak than Harry's, but then, I guess Hermione did have one on her; it might not have been good enough to hide her from the troll, but perhaps it would have hid her from Harry. And I suppose that obscuring the real Hermione from Harry would make sense under the 'if you want to change the past, you can't know if you've already succeeded' rule, from the end of 76.
I commented elsewhere that this is a major difficulty with trying to save her. Invisible Hermione would have to scream in the middle of combat to fake out the patronus, which is obviously an incredibly dangerous thing to do.
Hmmm... it's also possible in that scenario that Hermione was hot-swapped out of the combat. Real!Hermione responded with a terrified scream to the Patronus, and while Present!Harry was racing to her on a broom, Time-Turned!Harry did some kind of obscuring spell (fog, blast of light, something like that), tossed an invisibility cloak (not Harry's) over Real!Hermione, and then fed Simulacrum!Hermione to the troll just in time for Present!Harry to show up.
The Patronus that came back to Harry could be Future-Harry's Patronus, if time travel is involved. Note: I don't personally place a high probability on theories involving time travel in this instance, but they do present a possible explanation for that objection.
Every consistent theory I've seen involves time-travel somehow. The stakes are simply too high for Harry to permit the attempt to not be made.
If the Patronus that came back was Future-Harry's Patronus, then what happened to Present-Harry's Patronus? When Harry's Patronus was countered with Quirell's Killing Curse in Chapter 54, Harry definitely felt it being countered.
It's plausible that having one's Patronus dispelled by one's future self is not as noticeable as having one's Patronus countered by a killing curse. Alternatively, an even simpler option is that it was still Present-Harry's patronus, just given updated instructions by Future-Harry.
Wait, what about these chapters did you find implausible enough that you want to challenge one of your priors?
The wards against sudden injury didn't trigger, the troll was buffed beyond reasonable expectation, medical treatment which should have worked didn't. I didn't specify which of (edit) my priors was wrong, because I don't know which one to identify.
Narrative convention suggests it's awfully unlikely that Eliezer would drop a bomb like this with an update gap in between if it were a false alarm.
Even if Harry now believes in souls (and what happened to Hermione looks to me like magical death throws, if I was Harry it would be insufficient evidence to overcome my priors) then surely he would want to preserve her body so the soul has something to occupy? Maintaining the transfiguration is easy, keeping it cold is harder as you would have to repeatedly cast the cooling charm, but I doubt the internal structure of a strong metal changes much over time even at room temperature, and he would ask Quirrel for help, because adult help will probably be needed anyway for recovering her soul. Quirrel will be delighted to see Harry devote himself to the magical conquest of death. As for time turners, being able to go back further than 6 hours and change history is an instant victory, unless both sides have them, in which case the story changes completely into a time war. I don't think that's where EY wants to take it, unless maybe in the last chapter, post-magical singularity, they travel back with invisibility cloaks and save everyone who has ever died.


What exactly does this mean? Both Quirrel and Harry Potter are already here. Sirius no longer seems feasible for this.

Possibly it refers to the new personality-state of Harry which Quirrel just sensed? I suspect that Harry has just succeeded what he failed to do in Azkaban: to fuse his normal self with the grim and ardently indomitable dark side.

Prediction 1: Soon, Harrry will do something somewhat clearly allegorical to FOOMed super AI. Alternatively, Prediction 2: Instead, Harry will be incredibly badass (I.e, Quirrel's equal) more conventionally. Prediction 3: Harry will be able to get some real resources finally. He might somehow get enough mana to pull off Quirrelesque blasting, or find a creative/technological-seeming way to provide it. Prediction 4: Harry's involvement in

The version starting with "HE IS COMING" was given the same chapter and same day that Harry and Draco formed the Bayesian Conspiracy.

Horrible half-prophecies occurred when Harry pondered the distinction between ruthless war and the superhero's quest to save everyone. Th... (read more)

Harry could disassemble the world and the stars into computronium - in fact star-lifting crossed his mind when he heard the first part of the prophecy. EY stated that there would be no AI analogy, and magical intelligence amplification seems more plausible anyway.

A different route to a mini-foom is that one can make luck potions. Then gamble, get money, recruit people who know how to make potions. Now you have huge amounts of luck potion, and provided your thought process is fairly random, you will always find the right answer (e.g. opening a random book at a random page happens to provide exactly the right insight). Routes to magical IA:

Luck potions.

A thinking hat - like the sorting hat, only it uses your brainpower to help you solve problems.

Efficient use of memory charms to spread insights rapidly through a group of researchers.

Use of telepathy to create a group mind.

Potion of thinking, made of e.g. ground-up crossword puzzles.

Potion of... OH CRUD. Buy supercomputer time to solve problems in some physical form. Melt printouts into potion. Foom.
Maybe incorporating books into the potion would give you literary skills and declarative knowledge, while computer printouts give fast computation skills? Better throw some birthday cards and essays on ethics in there too, to try and encourage friendliness :)
You mean like the Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw ['s_diadem]? which may not exist in the Rationalverse, as it's potentially OP. Especially if Harry gets his hands on it.
You know, a heavy dose of luck potion would almost justify messing with time. I still don't see any way to fake a failed ghost creation without transfiguring a witch or wizard. (Though in principle, Imperio would remove the need for a volunteer.) A few hours does not seem like enough time to grok ghosts in fullness and produce a guaranteed failure. Nor do you want any uncertainty. Never let under-determined Outcome Pump Physics decide if your plan will really preserve the appearances most efficiently, or if the Universe should create Uplifted utahraptors to stop you.

Possibility: Normal harry and his Dark Side have now merged (or Harry has lost his restraint to the extent the distinction is irrelevant). This new Harry has all his abilities and none of his previous restraint and is effectively a new person, with the expressly stated intention of changing the world that now exists to the extent it is effectively destroyed.

Secondary possibility: The current 'world' will end because Harry is going to somehow turn back time and destroy thus timeline in its entirety.

Eliezer has stated that nothing in HPMOR is allegory for AI. I don't have a source for the quote, but I remember it very clearly, because it surprised me.
Early on, when Harry was so much smarter and more focused than the adults at Hogwarts, I assumed it was an allegory for dealing with an AI. Admittedly on a small scale, but the small scale is a hint to lead to comprehension that the large scale is, well, larger.
I believe this is meant to be interpreted in the same sense as CS Lewis's claim that Aslan isn't an allegory for Jesus.
Quote ? I think the 7th book of the chronicles of Narnia clearly establishes that Aslan IS, in fact, Jesus in a very litteral sense.
... that Aslan is Jesus, rather than merely an allegory?
Something to note - A Singularity, of whatever kind, is generally held (citation needed) to be the point at which a pre-Singularity being can make no useful predictions about a post-Singularity being, usually due to runaway growth of intelligence. It is very much a metaphorical "end of the world" for a pre-Singularity being, and prophecies are nothing if not metaphorical.

Something to note - A Singularity, of whatever kind, is generally held [...]

Not around these parts.

Fair enough. The Intelligence Explosion variant has the same net effect on a layperson, though: an absolutely alien world, with such strange people in it.
Ohhhh... Quirrel is in for a very, very nasty suprise. Very good day my binary-search-for-enemies-of-the-Verresian-Empire ass.
To me, all of this is more evidence towards the Harrymort branches; Harry's dark side finally has the ability to directly sway Harrys actions. Also note that Harry is explicitly not counting the possibility that his own actions have been affected by memory charms, etc...
I'm surprised to see everyone overlook the most obvious possibility: Voldemort. Point one: The earlier prophecy was probably about the same person, and he hadn't arrived yet at the moment. Even if it was about something different. 'he has come' in the last prophecy implies that he had just arrived. Point two: Voldemort appears to love destruction. I still don't know how someone as intelligent as him hadn't killed everyone in the ways Harry thought of -. Harry's intent to kill, which is presumably very Voldemort-like, is extremely creative and effective even at his magic level and age. But assuming that Voldemort is about destruction, he might want to end the world. Quirrell or someone (e.g. Snape) might have resurrected Voldemort right after stealing the Philosopher's Stone - a time-turner may be involved.. Dumbledore was away, Snape might be unreliable, it could have easily happened. A counterindicator is that Dumbledore is probably also aware of this risk, and therefore might have taken counter-measurements, although we can see that Quirrell can fool him in the part where he learns about the zoomagus potion left in Bellatrix's cell (though it portrays himself and Snape as significantly inferior to Voldemort and Quirrell, so I'm reluctant to believe it was real, rather than them acting in front of McGonagall).

Legs eaten off at the thighs! For some reason this stuff reminds me of the fight scene from the fifth Twilight movie. Here's a great video review describing that scene, it really brought a smile to my face.

That was funny, but I'd like to defend Breaking Dawn part II on the grounds of: * A clever demonstration of using superpowers to resolve conflict non-violently * A clever demonstration of how precognition in particular is a complete game-breaker (Note that I say this from the perspective of only having read the first book, and not seen any of the other movies.)
That video review made me laugh pretty hard. Thanks.
I'm upvoting both of you because I probably wouldn't have watched the review without the second "it's worth watching," and I'm glad I watched it.
And now I upvoted all three of you, for the same reason.
I was hoping that would happen ;)

It's like a karma Ponzi scheme!

Good reviews of bad movies are almost always worth watching. See, for example, 90% of the Nostalgia Critic's work.
Errr... "almost always worth watching"? Lots of things are "worth" doing insomuch as they are more enjoyable/valuable than picking an action at random... I'm interested in whether things are relatively worth it. And I'm pretty sure that the decline of marginal benefit would tank the Nostalgia Critic's work within 10 reviews, probably sooner. And even then, is that going to be more enjoyable than . What lukeprog's comment demonstrated was that this wasn't just another instance of "omg you have to watch this" which is a pretty common phenomenon, and is probably biased because, content aside, we want our friends to consume the same media as us. Luke was in a similar position to mine and he recounted being grateful for choosing to watch it. This feels like it offers more support than if he'd said "Oh yeah, I've seen that video and it's great" because in that case, it's much more likely that Luke is already the sort of person who watches those videos, in which case there's a bias towards him enjoying them. I'm finding myself somewhat worried that somebody's going to come along and jokingly comment "haha, thanks Alsadius, I just went and watched 90% of NC's work, and it made me laugh pretty hard." So I'm just gonna preempt that here. If someone actually does that, link to your favourite 1-2 videos, because I don't want to watch them all.
To be fair, I've watched perhaps a third of his output, I've just thought that ~90% of that was a worthwhile way to spend my time. You're right, it's not the sort of thing you want to watch all the time, but a couple here and there I findm to eb enjoyable. Your mileage may vary, of course. If anyone's feeling curious, I'd suggest his Howard the Duck review as a starting point - []

So there's already a resurrection ritual that Harry has heard about. Blood of an enemy, bone of the father, flesh of the servant. Can he find these things for Hermione?

Anyone else confused by the line in chapter 89:

"Lead it away, keep it off me," said a voice.

On first reading I thought it was the as-of-yet-unnamed-but-totally-Hermione victim, which seemed odd, but on a third read I think it might be Harry, and the distance of the narration just a reflection of Harry's horror. Not sure, though.

In canon this ritual is used to give the Horcrux-preserved shadow of Voldemort a new body. His body has the shape of a human baby and is able to talk coherently; he reemerges after the ritual with a fullformed body. Hermione has got no Horcrux of her own, and is thus beyond the means of this resurrection ritual.
Based on main canon, I don't have the sense that that resurrection ritual works for someone who's properly dead.
Does Hermione have a servant?

Captain Ron would be the ideal choice.

Why? That was my reading.
I'd expected this to be spoken by Harry under his cloak (thus `a voice') when I read it. I still think it was Harry, because it makes perfect sense for him to say that (he wishes to attend to Hermione as soon as possible) and it's awfully coherent for someone going into shock.
Usually when Eliezer writes the words "a voice" it occurs in a phrase like "he said in a voice so malevolent it could boil kittens' tears". Occasionally he writes "a voice" just because the person whose perspective he's writing from doesn't know who was speaking, like "asked a voice from clear across the room" or "shouted a voice somewhere in the mists of the battlefield". This doesn't look like either of those. It's not a strong clue, but to me it points in the direction of Eliezer intentionally not naming who spoke, in order to keep it a secret from the reader for the moment. Or maybe I'm getting carried away hoping there's an invisible time-turned Harry there to save the day.
He can try, but, well, Voldemort's soul was still around. :(
He would have needed to kill somebody, possibly to have killed somebody with mens rhea, to do that. Of course, Harry might get around this. Bone is a problem since Harry's father is alive. Plus it must be unknowingly bequeathed. Perhaps he could steal it, and it would be OK? Perhaps Harry's father will die at some point? Perhaps a different ancestor? Not necessarily father. Who is his servant? I don't think he has one. The closest would be Lesath Lestrange or maybe the Weasleys. Enemy would probably be Quirrel. Harry might be able to acquire his blood.
"Mens Rhea!" Is that the spell that makes someone think they're a huge bird that can't fly?
Trying to resurrect Hermione. Not sure how Harry would be able to resurrect /himself/, barring time shenanigans. ... now /that/ would be interesting. Trying to figure out how on earth you managed to resurrect yourself in the six hours before you show up.
The servant would be Harry himself.
The only plausible enemy is Quirell - how exactly will Harry forcibly take his blood?

Well. That went poorly.

There isn't any reason to accept it, not when there's magic in the world.

Harry has direct sensory evidence that souls are real, but it doesn't look like that's updated his sense of what is and isn't possible yet. I feel more and more trepidation.

You say that like having an immortal soul, a major part of your mind that can survive literally anything, would make it harder to revive the dead.
Right, for some values of "revive." If the immortal soul has a mortal connection to the real world, then you can either revive the bodies (but they're soulless) or you can bring back the soul (but they're disconnected). The Resurrection Stone in HP canon (as well as possibly that creepy curtain) suggests that the second option is already implemented, but doesn't establish that it's the best possible (except in an 'absence of evidence is evidence of absence' sort of way). If people are just computation, then you only have to solve the problem of fixing the hardware and rebooting them, not also realigning their soul.
Humans can still be just hardware with a soul. API calls to the cloud.
Sure- but in a world where souls are immortal and connections can be easily be restored, that sort of resurrection would be likely to already exist. Its absence suggests its impossibility.

In a world with immortal souls, Harry's Patronus goes to find Hermione now. Yes, we can invent reasons why that would fail. Its failure would/will still provide more evidence in the other direction.

In a world with immortal souls, Harry's Patronus goes to find Hermione now.

That is an experimental test I would very much like to see Harry try.

I'm not sure what this is referring to. Ghosts? Harry currently thinks those are magical echoes.
Reread the event in question. (I'm trying to keep the start of my comments a little unspoilery, since they show up in the recent comments sidebar.) In the universe where souls do not exist and people are just electrical activity embodied in lipid computers, that description and it triggering Dumbledore's immediate arrival seem very unlikely. In the universe where souls do exist, it seems very likely.
Oh, hmm. For some reason I thought Dumbledore's arrival was triggered by the wards. Gotcha. But I think what Harry witnessed was still consistent with magical echoes; it sounded like Hermione almost but wasn't quite made into a ghost or something.

Oh, hmm. For some reason I thought Dumbledore's arrival was triggered by the wards. Gotcha.

Right; I'm using the wards triggering right then as evidence for the souls theory. In a souls world, it's easy to notice when souls exit the body (and set up wards to detect that), and hard to notice when souls are about to exit the body, so you can show up and suspend them or whatever. In a 'people are just computation' world, where you're able to read the computation from afar using magic, a ward that notices "Hermione's not alive anymore!" would require tech that could be used to build a ward that notices "Hermione's going into shock!", which would be a much more useful ward to have.

[edit] I didn't fully remember the wards from the Draco Incident, where they could detect injury. So either there are multiple levels of wards and the injury ward was disabled (or set to death), Dumbledore didn't respond to the injury alarm but did respond to the death alarm (reasonable, if he's somewhere else important, and the Deputy present at the castle would have already known the troll was around and have the castle in high alert by the time Hermione was attacked if she was attacked after Filch's alert), there's a continuity break, or something I'm missing.

Good point, but I'm not sure if the wards triggered right then: Dumbledore said he felt Hermione die, not that the wards alerted him that Hermione died. During the Draco fiasco various characters say the wards are triggered to detect rapid harm to students, which is why they didn't detect the blood-cooling charm (although you'd think that means the wards would have detected what happened to Hermione sooner...). The implication is that if someone hadn't discovered Draco he would have died without the wards detecting it, or at least that's what it sounded like to me.

We don't even know Dumbledore was in the castle, as I understand it. Ch88: If he's not even at Hogwarts, that seems like it renders it difficult to infer anything from when he shows up since any delay or argument-from-silence could just as well be due to it taking time to phoenix-fire back from whereever and then repoint himself.
Hmm, this does appear to be a hole in my logic, and also the response of "the wards only trigger on death" to "if Dumbledore had show up seconds sooner things would have been different." The text from earlier:

Something else interesting, from Chapter 84:

The old wizard nodded in affirmation. "If any hostile magic is cast on her, or any spirit touches her, I shall know, and come."

Grievous bodily injury, unfortunately, is not covered under that warranty.


also a toe-ring with an emergency portkey to a safe location

Now I guess we know why it started with her legs.

The portkey would only work if she was taken outside Hogwarts.
Not true. Portkeys can work in Hogwarts - cf., the end of Goblet of Fire. It's only Apparation that doesn't work.
In HPMOR, portkeys do not work in Hogwarts (chapter 63).
Right. I was thinking of the "rip the playing card" portkey, but in retrospect that said to get beyond the wards first.
It seems reasonable for the Headmaster to be able to make portkeys that can bypass those wards.

The wards triggering right then is evidence mostly that somebody is messing with the wards, based on their previous description as being set to trigger on "sudden injury".

The clear intent of the Blood-Cooling Charm had been to kill Draco Malfoy so slowly that the wards of Hogwarts, set to detect sudden injury, would not trigger.

Or that since she ran for sunlight, she wasn't inside Hogwarts technically, therefore the wards didn't pick up her injury. We already have proof the attacker expected her to do that. Which would also explain her last words.
She was still within the wards/within hogwarts grounds.
Oh! What if the wards only work inside the castle? Hermione's battle with the troll was in the sunlight and thus outside. While I would hope that the wards would cover the entire school grounds (rescuing students from the Forbidden Forest seems like a more common use case than rescuing them inside), that's another possibility that seems somewhat more reasonable than some of the others I've listed. (I should also, for completeness, add the "he responded to the injury alarm but it took too long" option, but I find that one unsatisfying for several reasons.)
The wards were drawn up by a schemer in the 12th century. Was shock a concept he was familiar with? (Gryffindor probably would have been, but Slytherin, I'm not so sure)
Possibly not. But as Hippocrates put it, and so I suspect that trauma surgery was mature enough then that they had some concept of shock after seeing hundreds of people die from it.
Agreed. Salazar Slytherin doesn't seem like someone who has seen a terribly large amount of war, though - he's more of the shadowy type. That said, thinking and a bit of Google reminds me that Ch. 47 has Salazar Slytherin in a battle scene. I'm no longer confident of the correctness of this point.
He felt something "happen" when Hermione died and Dumbledore also confirmed it. It might just be a magical echo but it's definitely evidence for something like a soul.
This is true, but without further investigation, it fails to distinguish the world where souls are independent from physical form from the world where souls are magical echoes/uploads/backups/etc. On that note, this would be one convenient time for Quirrel to drop in and say "Oh, by the way, that description of the Resurrection Stone you gave me turned up something interesting..."
How does he know that what happens is the soul leaving the body, as opposed to magical death throws? For that matter, how does he know that the soul goes somewhere (I'm guessing the source of magic in atlantis) rather than simply disintegrating?

Not quite the Red Wedding, but close.

Harry knows how smart Quirrell is, and he knows that if it occurred to him that the troll was an attempt on Hermione's life, it would have occurred to Quirrell instantly. We (and Harry) know that Quirrell said nothing to McGonagall, from which Harry will soon infer that Quirrell could have saved Hermione yet did nothing. (Which makes it likely, but not certain, that it was Quirrell who was behind the troll.) In either case Quirrell has reached a point, or is about to reach a point, in his sinister plan where it no longer matters (or perhaps even requires) that Harry take him as a mortal enemy.

Draco (and maybe even Lucius) will most likely infer from the troll incident that Hermoine was not the one who attacked him, and he will align himself with Harry in the coming Roaring Rampage of Revenge. I would not be surprised if Lesath Lestrange also made an appearance.

It's also possible/likely that the Malfoy household is either involved, or believes that one of their allies is involved, in a revenge killing.
It could be House Malfoy and Friends, but if so, we would still need some reason why Quirrell would not have told McGonagall that the troll was likely after Hermione. If Quirrell did want Hermione dead, he would most likely have kept any other potential murderers away from her so that her death could occur at a time and in a manner that would suit him best. So the most probable explanation is that it was, in fact, Quirrell.
McGonagall is savvy enough to know that the current defense professor is at fault for something like this; Quirrell pushed his luck in manipulating her into taking the actions she did, including providing him a single point of false-memory charm to an alibi for whatever he needs to do (including stealing a time-turner, meeting his future self, confirming that everything appears to will have gone well, and then going back to set up the scenario in the first place). ETA: And even if it wasn't Malfoy & co, it is believable that they would think it was one of them.
Quirrel didn't know that Hermione was missing when he left with McGonagall.

The assailant in question introduced a troll through the school wards, enchanted it to resist sunlight, disabled Hermione's cloak & broom, arranged for it to be in the same part of the castle, made the troll eat Hermione's legs to disable her portkey toering, and is apparently responsible for Fred & George no longer having the Marauder's Map which real-time locates every student in the school.

Seriously? Of course the attacker (Quirrel) knew she wasn't in the hall.

thanks this makes it clear that it was aimed at Hermione.
I don't accept that Quirrel is necessarily the attacker, but more to the point, I meant that Harry wouldn't know Quirrel would know Hermione wasn't in the hall, so he wouldn't expect Quirrel to behave as if he knew.
Even if Quirrell weren't responsible, he would almost certainly have the presence of mind to quickly check whether any high-value targets (Harry, Hermione, and possibly Neville) were missing. Harry manages to do the same, albeit after some unwarranted delay; he would not expect Quirrell to forget it.
Maybe. Harry didn't remember to check until after Quirrel had left. I think it wouldn't be hard for Quirrel to convince Harry that as soon as he realized Hermione was in danger he came as fast as he could, especially since he really DID burn holes through Hogwarts to get there. He will need a believable explanation of how he knew where to go, though.

I'm tentative to make predictions here since, reading through comments, I consider you folks more grounded in rationality, logical thinking and also fictional predictions than me. But I wanted to share a thought and get feedback, so here goes.

My interpretation of the big magical release goes like this: Hermione's brain, experiences, knowledge, magical ability, etc., are programmed via the genetic magic marker to upload into... something. The Atlantean Neural Database, or something like that. We've got reason to believe that magic was artificially created and the genetic marker programmed into people, so that they are capable of interfacing with reality on a far more interesting level than most people. We've also got plenty of evidence to suggest that the brain is, if not fully understood by magical knowledge, more than capable of being interacted with. We have Legilimency and Obliviations capable of accessing memory, thoughts, knowledge, and intentions; the author is capable of working with things WE don't know about because wizarding knowledge is stated to have been lost, so we also have some unknown-unknowns working against us. So the odds of neural magic having existed in ... (read more)

I predict that Harry will save many or all people who ever died from oblivion with magic that reaches backward through time to capture the mind of each person at the point of their death.

I further predict that this magic will create the mechanism of magic, possibly incidentally, and be responsible for the sort of Atlantis that magical Britons believe in.

I speculate that magic and ghosts are unintended byproducts of Harry's Afterlife Immortality Project.

Harry is an anti-death hero. Whatever villains he may encounter, his enemy is death and his heroic victory will be over his true enemy.

The afterlife figures centrally in the original work in ways that are incompatible with the author's worldview. In this way, the author incorporates important elements of the original work without betraying his convictions.

I made this prediction last April, and wish there had already been an admonishment to share predictions like the one involving 75th, yesterday.

I made this prediction as soon as Harry encountered that Spittake Soda, I think, having made a lucky guess as to how it worked. Or was it when he encountered time-turners ... ?
That... sort of makes sense except that the loop seems overly complex and Harry would try to prevent more misery or something?
I don't know what "just complex enough" would look like, so I'm not sure what you mean by overly complex. But I promise I will listen. It has been established that the past cannot be changed because the universe steps through time once, with all time travel included. Harry cannot change the misery that occurred. On the other hand, the author has said something to the effect that even if there is an afterlife in HP&tMoR, there is no evidence of one so someone like Harry would not believe in one. Without evidence of an afterlife, Harry can create one that has always existed and contains the minds of many or all people.

Prediction for Chapter 90: Time Pressure, Part 3:

"Wait a moment," you say. "Time Pressure, Part 3? Harry already lost his race against the clock. Why would Chap. 90 be called 'Time Pressures'?"

Because Harry's race against the clock to save Hermione's life has only just begun, and he has slightly less than six hours left. Eliezer mentioned that one of his most significant purposes of Chap. 86 was to update characters' states of knowledge before the next arc. If you recall, in that chapter, Harry learned the word "horcrux." And in Chap. 87, Harry learned of the philosopher's stone.

So what will Harry do? Get the shell removed from his time turner, or obtain a time turner from someone else. Learn about the Horcrux ritual as quickly as possible, travel back in time, get Hermione to create a horcrux, and erase her memory of doing so thus that her death plays out just as before. Then start working on the stone to restore Hermione to life. (He could also take the "bone of the father, flesh of the servant, blood of the enemy" route, but positively identifying Hermione's enemy could be difficult. Lucius Malfoy and Company, who were tricked i... (read more)

While I consider this unlikely, it would help explain the scene with Hermione's soul seemingly leaving her body. As far as I remember the characters who deaths seems we saw in canon didn't have this effect and having a Horocrux would differentiate Hermione from them.
I'm not capable of reasoning about time loops in my sleep-deprived state, but would it be possible for Hermione to create her Horcrux by killing herself?
Yes: Consider the following loop: Hermione A goes and kills future Hermione B (who already has a horcrux). Hermione A is then killed by the troll, but has a horcrux (possibly with a mind wipe before so she doesn't know about it). Hermione is then A is then resurrected to be sent back in time to become Hermione B. Then Hermione B is resurrected. However, we know that messing with time is bad and we know that magic with souls is powerful, so this combination looks potentially very dangerous.
More generally, if resurrection doesn't require additional sacrifices and doesn't use up a horcrux, people who don't have horcruxes could make them by murdering other people (by arrangement) who already have one (and then resurrecting them). Eventually, everyone is alive and has a horcrux.
I'm not completely sure this will work in general. It seems that magic works partially off of intent. One may need to actually believe that one is murdering the person in a permanent way. However, even that could be handled with memory charms.
Predicted with what probability []?
80% probability that Hermione will make a horcrux; a mere 30% probability that everything will happen exactly as I specified above. It is a very specific prediction, after all. ...And a 90% probability that the plan will occur to Harry whether or not he pulls it off.
I can't see either Harry or Hermione going along with a Horcrux ritual. Just too evil and out of character for both of them. Given the title and some other hints in the story, I think use of a time turner is inevitable; but whatever Harry does it won't involve a Horcrux.
Not out of character for Harry; in fact, it would be perfectly in character for him. But Hermione would never go for it.
I thought that horcruxing required mens rhea.
Mens rea [], and yes.
Perhaps Harry will do something with his personal copy of Hermione and a hack of Merlin's computer. Just hours before: Given Voldemort's novel formatting of his brain, Harry's apparently already got the hardware to contain or access one extra soul, how much more would he need for another?

First, I have to get the emotional reaction out of the way: holycrap!

Now that that's done, is the last time we've heard about the Marauders' Map when Dumbledore borrowed it to search for Tom Riddle? I don't remember off hand whether that was after TSPE or in Taboo Tradeoffs.

I'm a little perplexed at how Harry's medical treatment didn't seem to work; it sounded like it should have bought several minutes, but the action that followed didn't seem like it could have taken more than 60 seconds. I've only read it the once through, so I could be missing it completely, but the timing felt deliberate. (And all the ticks in 88 seem to emphasize the passage of time, though they could well have just been to emphasize the pressure).

Also, Susan knows how to effectively magic giants? That makes her smarter than Umbridge's entire team-to-sack-Hagrid in canon. I suppose it pays to have a competent defense professor (even if he is the most likely suspect for all the awful that just happened), and the director of the DMLE as a close relative.

I was pretty shocked at the Troll in the Dungeon line. That seemed like something that wouldn't be at all likely to happen with a RATIONAL! Voldemort, foreshadow... (read more)

Re Marauders' Map: Quirrell pretty obviously has it. He obliviated the Weasley twins and took it. This is just the smart thing for him to do.

Note how he's burning straight through to the melee with the troll at the end of Ch. 89 - so he knows exactly where and in what direction Harry and Hermione are. This could also be because of the psychic link, but it also increases the probability he has the map.

Alternative hypothesis: this is one of several things done by a time traveller creating a consistent time loop. If they had the map, it would have shown Hermione in two places, or else not where she was being attacked. In this scenario, the twins were temporarily obliviated about the map, just so they wouldn't use it. But they still have the map. The disappearance of the map is actually one of the few clues that IMO raises the probability that a time loop is already in progress, besides the ELIZA discussion with "Brienne". Harry also knows that the time turner prohibition can be defeated, with assistance from an adult wizard; his likely next effort (after securing Hermione's body for possible revival) would be to find another way to circumvent both the use prohibition and Time itself. But I guess we'll find out in a few hours. (Squee!) (Not an actual prediction, but it would be awesome if this somehow turns out to be Hermione deliberately faking her own death to assume a cover identity. Among other things, it would be a compelling answer to the "stuffed in a fridge" trope allegations. Not as powerful -- but still more fair to Hermione than the status quo -- would be a flashback that shows her heroically taking on the troll in order to protect someone else, rather than just being a victim. She at least deserves her own epic batlle scene, even if the story requires it appear only in flashback.)
You don't think Dumbledore would've obliviated the Weasley twins after using the map to find Voldemort? That would also have been the smart thing for him to do.
Nah, not really. The Marauder's Map is the obvious thing to try when searching for someone in Hogwarts, he wouldn't release any information to the Weasleys. And, of course, Dumbledore does trust the Weasleys. It did suggest the Map to Quirrell as a device he'd want to confiscate, but it's not really in Dumbledore's nature to think that far ahead.
I guess the question is, how many levels deep is Dumbledore playing? I think it's possible he's smart enough to predict that Voldemort would do this, and take the map away from them as a precaution. But not super likely. But other than that, I don't see a motivation for Dumbledore to confiscate it; he seems to like that the Weasleys have it. It's a token of Gryffindorishness, flouting the letter of the law to pull pranks and help out their friends or what have you. And Dumbledore likes that, I think.
Right, but Dumbledore also thinks there's a war going on. The map seems like too useful a tool for either side to have for Dumbledore to be so cavalier about leaving it in the twins' hands.
I would understand Dumbledore confiscating the map. But, if he were to confiscate it, he would do only that, not Obliviate the Weasleys such that they'd have no memory of ever possessing such a map. It would seem cruel and pointless to him.
Suppose Dumbledore thinks his enemies aren't aware that the map exists. If he believes one of his enemies is a Legilimens and is periodically scanning the students' minds, he might not want to take the risk of them scanning the Weasley twins and discovering the existence of the map. But I admit I'm stretching at this point.
If that enemy exists, he already knows.
Upvoted for qualifying the clever argument with the admission that it is a stretch.
That's a good point. I'm updating slightly in favor of Dumbledore having it, then.
Most likely. What I don't remember is whether or not Dumbledore ever gave it back to Fred and George; he presumably did if Quirrel stole it, since I doubt he would have had an easy time getting it from Dumbledore unnoticed. And if we didn't get confirmation that Dumbledore returned it, I suppose this might fuel "Dumbledore did it" theories. Most of my probability mass goes to Quirrel, though.
Yeah, I assume Dumbledore gave it back. He didn't care that they had it before he borrowed it; why would he suddenly begin to care after? (OK, I can think of a few reasons, but they're pretty weak and don't measure up to "Quirrell took it" in probability mass.)
My understanding is that once shock is refractory [\]#Refractory), there is no turning back (in particular, oxygenation at that stage is useless). I'm not familiar enough with the medicine to know if it's reasonable for her to progress that far that quickly, but my layman's guess is "probably."
The description of refractory shock is that the ATP in the body has already decayed and diffused out of the cells. Would someone in that state have any way of speaking? Or do we assume that the Law of Dramatic Death Scenes is written into a magician's powers?
The dramatic death scene was my interpretation, but I don't have much experience with people dying violently (thankfully). I don't know how realistic dramatic death scenes are or how much wizardly fortitude is worth.
Recalling a video I have seen (forgot the source), the actual damage wouldn't occur upon hypoxia, but upon re-oxygenation. Lack of oxygen at the cellular level does start a fatal chemical reaction, but the structure of the cells are largely preserved. But when you put oxygen back, everything blows up (or swells up, actually). Harry may very well have killed Hermione with his oxygen shot. If he froze her before then, it might have worked, but after that… her information might be lost. One obvious objection: Hermione was still concious enough to say some last words, ruling out advanced brain de-oxygenation. That could be only for the drama, but still. One obvious consequence: that magic feeling upon death might be linked to plain muggle information-theoretic death somehow. But then, we have horcrucxes and Avada Kedavra… I'm quite confused by HPMOR's "laws of physics".

Wizards have souls. - their minds are running on more than just wetware. I am fairly certain of this, because otherwise shape shifting would be instantly fatal.

Or their brains are stored in hammerspace but maintain control of the transfigured body.
Possible analysis of the Animagus xform: Wizard's brain is imaged into magical representation. Transfiguration then takes place with control by live magical representation of wizards brain. Could this also be connected to how animagi are dementor-resistant?
Hypothesis: Time-Turned Harry has it.

My friend and I were emailing about this update. I asked her for her opinion on it and whether or not she liked it. Here are her thoughts:

"Yeeah, I kind of don't. I posted this review on it yesterday (after quietly fuming for a bit):

If this had been Neville or someone, I'd be commending you on how you handled the emotion here, but as it is I was too annoyed and appalled that you were damseling and then fridging fricking Hermione while halfheartedly suggesting she put up an offscreen fight to be able to appreciate it.

I'm not easily annoyed with fridging, or character death in general. In fact, a lot of my favorite scenes in fiction involve my favorite characters dying, and I've always argued that a character of any gender dying as a vital part of the main character's arc is fine. But Hermione had a huge incomplete arc and you've just rendered the entirety of it pointless. This is Hermione, she wasn't as rational as Harry, she tried to be a hero but only made things worse, she was framed for murder and ended up in a huge debt to Harry, which she had plans to try to settle and potential for interesting emotional growth, except whoops, then she died, and nothing ever came of any o... (read more)

I emailed back, and she elaborated:

"Oh, no, my issue is not with the fact that Eliezer killed a female character for Harry's motivation. Like I said, I like character death. I like character death used to put other characters through an emotional rollercoaster. And when people complain that X is sexist because a female character got fridged, that annoys me because while the trend is an issue, there is nothing wrong or sexist with an individual instance of a character who happens to be female dying for a character who happens to be male. It actually kind of surprised me on a meta level that I was so mad - I have never been annoyed by an individual instance of fridging before.

But the issue here is with the context in this particular instance. Your argument that it had to happen this way is flawed, because it assumes the story prior to the exact point of Hermione's death was fixed and out of Eliezer's hands. I don't have a problem with Eliezer killing Hermione, in itself - but if he was going to, he should have either not given her this character arc in the first place or completed the arc first in a way that gives at least some vague kind of closure. He could also have killed Ne... (read more)

I can't help but observe that even if Hermione had been male, and just Harry's friend - even if we take out all notions of sexism or relationship dynamics from this problem - killing him off is still not really the best solution. This was a character who was growing, who was admittedly more interesting than Harry, and who was on a path that could've potentially put this character at or even above Harry's level of rational thinking. But now we're just left with Harry again, and it feels like settling for second-best. Perhaps later chapters will convince me otherwise, but for now I am suspicious that the direction this story is going is not the best direction for this story.
Hmm, I wonder if this is the review he responded to in the AN.

Is it just me or has no one in the story really considered that Quirrell = mort? Like, why does the hypothesis that Quirrell = Grindelwald briefly come up first? Why is everyone blindly trusting him even when they think he might be responsible for some of the bad stuff going on? It seems like everyone is doing some serious mental gymnastics to avoid considering that he is actually seriously evil (esp. Hogwarts faculty and Harry).

Yeah. One thing that’s very striking if you read through it while thinking about motivated cognition is just how often words to the effect of “Harry ignored his sense of doom and …” show up. Its really shocking, Harry explicitly and actively ignores a strong sense of doom several times per chapter.

Yes, I think someone's been tampering with their minds in this respect. It's bizarre that at least Dumbledore or maybe Snape hasn't considered this (Harry doesn't think Voldemort's alive, and McGonagall is engaging in motivated cognition so she can keep Quirrell around to teach as long as possible). Maybe it's related to the curse on the Defense Against the Dark Arts position.
Does Harry believe Voldemort is dead? I thought he learned he was alive way back in Chapter 6:
Harry expresses a lot more skepticism than that a lot more recently. Chapter 86 []: And:
Harry believes horcruxes to be bunk, on the basis that souls don't exist :/
Although it's possible that Snape is assuming that Dumbledore would't possibly forget to check for that (are there ways to check?). I know my first reaction to the original Rowling-fic is "OK, there's no way Dumbledore didn't know a teacher was being possessed by Voldemort."
Well he did know, as we find out in the 7th book.
We find out he didn't trust Quirrel (as he tells Snape in flashback to keep an eye on Quirrel), I don't think we find out he knew Quirrel was being possessed by Voldemort.
Well, I may have read too much into this statement, that's true. I always assumed that Dumbledore conveniently "going to the Ministry of Magic" on a broomstick or with a Thestral (and not using one of the million other possibilities such as Floo Powder, Portkey, Apparating), then SUDDENLY realizing halfway that Hogwarts is where he ought to be were meant to signify the adult reader that, unlike what Canon!HP understood, Dumbledore knew all along and was trying to trick Voldemort/Quirrel into trying to get the Stone (which was safe inside the mirror of Erised). It also explained the perfect timing of Hagrid and Harry retrieving the Stone from Gringotts the exact same day Quirrel/Voldemort broke in. The Stone had in my opinion been a bait all along, to try and catch the Dark Lord while waiting for the Chosen One to be old enough to defeat him.

... On a side note.

Hermione Granger, of House Potter, at great cost to House Potter, was just killed on Potter's watch.

Good idea. Although if Harry could prove to the Wizengamot's satisfaction that Lucius or someone else did it, he probably wouldn't go for the blood debt, he would just take appropriate revenge himself.

Why are people here reacting like Hermione is perma-dead?

I get that they'd act that way on reddit, but people here actually believe and sign up for cryonics. Harry's got a whole team of Alcor cryonic specialists right in his wand. And if he can't manage the magic, Dumbledore can. Hermione's soul and magic may have exploded in an impressive lightshow, but her brain is still fully oxygenated and hasn't even begun to decompose.

Everything that makes her her is still doing fine.

(And on a meta level, Elizer knows that fictional examples are strong drivers of behavior. A fictional example of cryonics working would be big for cryonics adoption.)

Harry's brain suggested that an obvious way to stop the Dementors from seeing Bellatrix was to make her stop existing, i.e., kill her. Harry congratulated his brain on thinking outside the box and told it to continue searching. Kill her and then bring her back, came the next suggestion. Use Frigideiro to cool Bellatrix down to the point where her brain activity stops, then warm her up afterward using Thermos, just like people who fall into very cold water can be successfully revived half-an-hour later without noticeable brain damage. Harry considered this. Bellatrix might not survive in her debilitated state. And it might not stop Death from seeing her. And he'd have trouble carrying a cold unconscious Bellatrix very far. And Harry couldn't remember the research on which exact body temperature was supposed to be nonfatal but temporarily-brain-halting.


He's familiar with cryonics then, or at least the concept of suspended animation. The next line implies that he'd have used the plan if he didn't immediately think up a better one. Any plan he comes up with to save Hermione has to be at least as likely to succeed as cryonics.

Stuffed Into The Fridge, indeed.

Because the old ancient wizard has reason to believe souls exist, which means that while it's probably possible to keep Hermione's body functioning, there's "a burst of something... too vast to be understood" that's just gone missing. Mind, that doesn't stop someone from figuring out a way anyway. Harry certainly plans to. It just makes things significantly more difficult.
Old people, & people immersed in the traditional wisdom of old cultures, believe many things that have playtested as useful beliefs over a very long period. It doesn't follow from this that no dross creeps in.
I had assumed that such a, well, intense death scene would mean that her death was supposed to be really meaningful and so on ... but as I've been thinking about it, I've become increasingly certain that she'll be back.

High-confidence prediction: Chapters 88-89 are Snape's doing.

What? Snape has been trying to set up Hermione as a heroine. What does he gain by luring her to her death?

"Your books betrayed you, Potter," said Severus, still in that voice stretched tight by a million tons of pull. "They did not tell you the one thing you needed to know. You cannot learn from stories what it is like to lose the one you love. That is something you could never understand without feeling it yourself."


Note: I'm not sure Snape did it, my instinct is that this is the work of QQ. But Snape has reasons.

How high confidence? []

Someone please bet this man.

What do you want to bet on that? I'd assign your hypothesis an around 35% chance.
Ok, there's lots of room between our estimates (35% and 85%) to bet. I propose taking the arithmetic mean of our respective estimates, and betting at 3:2 odds; so I offer $12 against your $8. Offer valid until the next chapter is posted (Jul 1 7pm PST), void if not accepted (by replying with a comment) before then.
Sounds good. Offer accepted. Also, this will either way give me a reason to show up to the next Boston meetup (assuming you are still in the area), which is good because I've been busy with other things.
Yep, still in the area. I haven't seen you in a while and it'll be good to catch up. (We might or might not get to actually settle the bet, depending on the chapter that's about to come out, of course; but come to the meetup this Sunday, and the megameetup the weekend after that, either way.)
I unfortunately won't be able to make it this Sunday, but should be able to get to the megameetup.
Surely you are joking? If not, I would be very happy to make a bet on that.
I have updated strongly downward on this prediction based on chapters 90-94, especially 94.
Explain your reasoning, please.

Huh. It seems like a lot of people in this discussion are convinced that Hermione is dead and will stay dead. I agree that she is probably currently quite dead; however, I assign a greater than 50 % probability that she will somehow be resurrected.

My prediction: Harry will convince a reluctant Dumbledore to put Hermione's body under some sort of stasis spell (cue discussion of cryonics) while he researches ways to revive her. The resurrection plot will resolve the question whether the HPMoR-verse is reductionist or if there is a body/soul dichotomy (my bet is on the former).

My guess is that 1. there definitely will be a very serious attempt at resurrecting Hermione and 2. that HPMoR-verse is at least somewhat reductionist. Of course, there's also the possibility of the Patronusingualrity.

Harry should be screaming at Dumbledore to use his time-turner. There are a lot of options, constrained mostly by the necessity of seeing a Hermione-looking-thing die.

"I've already used it six times today, Harry..."


In HPMOR, time travel obeys the Novikov self-consistency principle (with the exception of liberal use of deus ex machina to keep it from being over-powered). If it were possible for Harry to use a time-turner to save Hermione, she wouldn't have died in the first place.

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
I'd wondered why no one used a time-turner the moment they knew a troll was loose. Even if Dumbledore had already used up his hours, another professor could've used some form of priority magical communication to call for aurors to travel six hours into the past, swiftly prepare to deal with a Hogwarts-attacking troll, and teleport to the site. Then I realized that Quirrell could prevent all attempts to stop the troll using time travel by exploiting the restriction against information traveling back more than six hours, i.e. by waiting until six hours after he wanted the attack to start, traveling back six hours, and initiating the attack.
Why wait for Dumbledore? Isn't Harry still inexplicably allowed to carry his with a completely ineffectual device preventing him from using it unauthorized?
Ineffectual only if Quirrell helps, right?
Harry can do partial transfiguration.
Ahh. That does seem like it might work.
For that matter, if Harry thought to try it in violation of most of the safety lecture, he might have better treated her. It depends on how much accurate biochemistry Harry knows- and what happens when CO2 transfigured into oxygen which burns more carbon refigures in the bloodstream. Although Harry has demonstrated the ability to sustain long transfigurations, I would say that it's reasonable that he thinks his medical supplies are more likely to work than experimental medical magic.
My guess: Oodles of carbon monoxide. Not good. EDIT Gah, I can't believe I got this wrong what with all the yeast metabolism I've been working with lately. All the oxygen you consume goes into making water, the CO2 you breathe out comes entirely from a combination of whatever carbon source you are burning and a little tiny bit of your water, with your mitochondria ripping electrons from the latter and adding it to the former. So somehow the water would wind up with carbon in it... CH2O? Formaldehyde? And that's not even considering what'll happen to all the molecules that have had OH groups tacked on taken from water over the intervening time period...
I was going to suggest monatomic carbon in solution...
Oh dear gods, a quadruple radical with empty orbitals... that's even worse.
A better thing than sulfuric acid to transmute your enemy's head into?
It'll release about 28 kilocalories per GRAM as it reacts with itself for one (and probably boil anything it is right next to if you made a solid chunk of it rather than have it wind up dissolved in solution), but the more interesting bit is when it touches something else or winds up in solution and goes around doing the same sort of reactions that hydrogen peroxide does. Except instead of producing small oxidized molecules from whatever big molecules it reacts with, it would produce all kinds of crosslinked gunk instead. Wow this got off topic. edited for a math error
So, not a better thing, for the same reason that hydrofluoric acid probably isn't better. If I ever learn partial transmutation, I want to know exactly what kinds of things to transmute trolls, good-aligned wizards, rival dark wizards, and the physical portions of dementors (if they have any?) into. My very first thought was either something with a very low melting point (Solid hydrogen?) or as reactive as possible (off the top of my head: Hydrazine). Then I considered what would happen after the transfiguration wore off in cases where my opponent sublimated or aerosolized while within wand distance. My current best-guess for weaponized transmutation is the old standby: stone. But not granite- talc.

Someone should cast a chain-Imperius , commanding the victim to:

1) Not attack anyone else subject to these rules 2) Imperius anyone not subject to these rules, and subject them to these rules 3) Inform your enchanter of any plans you know of that might hinder the grand Imperius effort.

It's established in Rowling!Cannon that the spell can be chained, and Harry has probably read the GNU manifesto, so he should have these sorts of ideas.

A liberal arch-wizard might object that this would reduce the entire world to a dull statis of mindless servitude:


... (read more)
Cool. Firstly, where is that established in canon? Secondly, not everyone can cast the Imperius. Thirdly, some people can resist the Imperius, and these people are, I should think, especially likely to do something about it.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Imperiused Pius Thicknesse is charged by the Death Eaters with imperiusing other members of the MoM. (Or was he the one being imperiued by an imperiused ?)
From the wiki page I linked []: Some can resist, but they could be defeated by a combination of 1) the archwizard at the head of the network and 2) his army of slaves.
Actually, if the Imperius Curse grants the victim the abilities necessary to carry out tasks (which I had also forgotten about,) then it seems more likely to me that it would actually require some degree of micromanagement from the end user for every step in the chain. It makes it seem more like they're actually investing some of their own mental power rather than just applying some suggestion, and there should only be so much of that to go around, which could make creating an army of imperiused slaves an impossibility.
Ah, good point, I'd forgotten you could push people into things they can't normally do (i.e. backflips.) Yeah, this does sound workable, although I doubt it would work on that sort of scale, unless you found some handy combo. As for the rebels overthrowing you, well, "this only works on the weak of will" is usually applied to mean "this doesn't work on PCs/important characters." Can't you just picture the great story based around Our Heroes encountering the nascent Collective and defeating their nefarious agents (they could be anyone! Anyone!) After all, you don't start with the world under control, do you?
This only qualifies as a sane response if one has no ethical qualms about the Imperius curse. Which is a bit of a problem, because most sane people wouldn't like the idea. Putting aside the sketchiness of the idea itself, it's flawed. If any zombie high on the chain dies or makes their will-save, every zombie subservient to them is freed, and has knowledge of the Grand Imperius Effort. If, before the experience, they hadn't had strong feelings either way about nonconsensual use of mind-effecting spells, they certainly will afterwards; everyone post-zombie is likely to oppose the plan. I suppose you could ameliorate the first bit of the first part of the practical problem by sequestering high-level zombies so they don't die, and the rest with sufficient use of propaganda. This assumes that this program is endorsed by a quite powerful organization. If we assume control of a powerful organization, though, it'd be more effective, and slightly less hideously unethical, just to sterilize all magicians and eliminate the "devastating, distributed destructive powers of magic" in a generation or two. Or write an Interdict of MerLarks to encompass all non-healing spells.

After devising a plan for a GNU world order, it's only logical to take the next step up into resilient W2W (Wizard-to-Wizard) networks: add a clause ordering Imperiused wizards to re-infect every 100th wizard they meet. This random crosslinking will convert the efficient yet fragile pyramidal hierarchy into a robust distributed graph.

Does Imperius provide remote control, or simply obedience to mundane orders? What does self-inflicted Imperius do?

What does self-inflicted Imperius do

The cure to procrastination?

It seems to me like having somebody imperius yourself to do what you wanted to do in the first place might be a way to make yourself formiddable in general. Of course, it also might break your free will or cause quietism or solipsism?
It would also be an education in finding out to what extent what you want to do in far mode is actually a way of getting what you want.
Bit of both, really. It's described as "like moving your arm", yet the subject retains their own skillset, mannerisms etc.

There's some debate about whether the passage about Hermione's soulsplosion rules out becoming a Hogwarts-anchored ghost. I have offered a bet to chaosmosis (LW, Reddit) on Reddit on this topic - I am skeptical of any ghosts.

For years, when trying to explain just how easy it is to break D&D 3.5 specifically, my example has always been a 5th level transmutation wizard with shrink item, mage hand, a twenty thousand pound rock and 100d6 of falling object dammage.... And somehow, I managed to not see that coming. I wonder if EY's falling rock idea originally came from D&D.

Wasn't exactly a falling rock, more like a rapidly expanding jawbreaker.
I predicted that the rock would be used in more or less this way, although I expected it would be used as a projectile by accelerating the ring to a high speed at an enemy and then Finite Incantatem.

It appears Quirrell now believes Harry has used the killing curse. Applying Story Logic, this misjudgement of Harry will lead to Terrible Bad Consequences for Quirrell.

Some ramblings before ch90: Quirrell will not learn the truth of how Harry killed the troll, since Dumbledore will memory charm the Weasely brothers (they saw Harry's patronus) and thus discover that their minds have been tampered with (by Quirrell). Suspecting Quirrell, Dumbledore will also erase the Weasely brothers' memories of how Harry actually killed the troll. Quirrell will not actual... (read more)

One look at the troll's supine body should clear that misconception. Didn't he reach the site by the end of the chapter?
A close read indicates that he probably hasn't - he seems to be somewhere in the middle of Hogwarts, burning through walls, and abruptly stops once the troll is killed, and not actually present. And while he does respect Harry's ability, an AK is probably the most parsimonious explanation for 'how did Harry just kill an enchanted adult troll in a few seconds?'
I doubt it. Quirrell knows that, with high probability, no one taught Harry AK. There are other ways Harry could know it, for example from his memories of Lily and Voldemort using it, or through the link, or by remembering Quirrell doing it in Azkaban, but this seems like a stretch. On the other hand, Quirrell knows that Harry can be extremely inventive and extremely deadly when he means to. Also, I don't see why Eliezer would need this twist for the rest of the plot.

Bearing in mind that Eliezer consistently foreshadows important events, let's brainstorm what Harry might do to end the world.

First, ritual magic and Dark rituals have played a prominent role in the story. Dark rituals have been mentioned over and over, and it's been emphasized that they are dangerous and powerful.

A magic ritual, much like a magic potion, seems to achieve much more than a spell. In my opinion this is probably because of the same conservation law by which potionmaking uses a small amount of magic to unlock the power already in some sens... (read more)

It would be nice if there were rituals described other than Ask'Enthe. I also wonder if MOR verse has an actual Death anthopomorphic personification, apart from the Dementors, spawned by Magic. I also wonder what EY's opinion on the way Death is portrayed in Discworld is.

Hmm. It seems highly likely that the troll was timeturned back six hours itself in order to prevent people using time turning against it - given the amount of prep work that went into this (sabotaging Hermoine's kit, lifting the map, making her miss that meal. sun proofing it...) it would be a major oversight to not do that. Of course, that limits the suspect pool to people who know about time turning. From our perspective, all relevant suspects do, but in universe, this probably does rule out people. For example, if means Lucius may in fact know that it was not one of his minions getting overly ambitious.

How would moving the troll back in time six hours prevent people from going back six hours to kill it in the past?
Because you cannot send information back further than that. So if the troll was sent from six hours forward, you cannot tell people further back about it. Uhm. I just realized this cannot be a strict prohibition, or you could only have one time turner per six light hour radius volume.. Okay, so all that accomplishes is that you cannot send anyone back that knows about the troll...Yanking in some random member of the order of the pheonix and telling them to swap out harrys first aid kit, without being spotted, might still work.
That's information, and it is in some significant sense information about the troll. The only people with the ability to do that would be people without enough information to know it's a good idea.
I wonder whether you could explain the way of it to them and then obliviate them so that they only remember the decision to do it but not the why. Or perhaps you could have someone who agreed to follow your orders without knowing why, specifically for the purpose of doing things with time-turners, rotate the duty through your inner circle so you don't end up with a drone.

Maybe this is the moment to ask why Hermione isn't already the hero of HP:MOR. If the point of HP:MOR is that someone who is smart and rational (and raised by smart/rational muggles) would immediately find a million holes in the Potter-verse, why not start with the character who is already known to be the smart one, and is at least a bit more rational than canon Harry? Sure, there's some issues with the prophesies -- but (rot13 for spoiler) Hayhaqha had a pretty good solution to that.

I count 30 Ticks, and then no more. Why doesn't the ticking continue, as Harry's still in the Great Hall (with the clock) for a while? Is this just arbitrary, or could the amount of Ticks given be somehow important, perhaps the time Harry would have had to arrive earlier in order to prevent Hermione's untimely death?

From Eliezer's facebook post: "Predictably" being an essential part: don't waste your time on what you know is not helpful.

Why would Harry not send his Patronus to Dumbledore, or McGonagall in order to alert them that Hermione was in danger? Why would he not immediately time-turn (break the shell, it's supposed to be a deterrent and/or indication that you've obviously misused it, right?) before he had more information about what was going on?

I'm more upset now than when I read certain scenes in A Storm of Swords; I suppose congratulations are in order for that, but... damn. Do not want.

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
Not surprising-- it was clear from A Game of Thrones that Martin was writing That Sort of Universe, but HP:MOR has gone on for a much longer time (and possibly a higher proportion of the story) without that sort of death.
Mostly I think he was panicking. But I think he had reason to believe that they wouldn't react quickly enough and/or would force him not to look for Hermione. This I'm less clear about.
Maybe he'll save her after 3pm.
Wait. I'm reading that again. "This now?" What emergency caused him to tap out using his time-turner on Thursday, anyway?
it opens at 9. he can go back as early as 3Pm.
Do not want, indeed. But as to time-turning, the shell would have been enchanted by someone stronger than him in magic, and I imagine he either couldn't do it at all, or couldn't do it without damaging the Time Turner itself.
Harry's patronus shattered when he saw Hermione's state. He was emotionally incapable of casting it.
Or ask Ron or someone else to send his patronus to ask Hermione where she is and tell her about the danger, back while he was still in the Great Hall. Even if no one present already knows how to send messages with patronuses, it didn't appear to take Draco long to learn once Harry told him how.

It seems ridiculous that Hogwarts doesn't have any kind of PA system, even schools in the 90's had that.

Also, basically no kind of preparation for disasters at all even though they were in the middle of a war 10 years ago. They didn't even do head counts.

It seems ridiculous that Hogwarts doesn't have any kind of PA system, wasn't even schools in the 90's had that.

The wizarding world doesn't keep track of muggle accomplishments.

They have pop-top soda cans and a form of viewing screen scry on the desks of a large classroom.

a form of viewing screen scry on the desks of a large classroom.

I believe this was specifically put there by Quirrel, who does keep track of muggle accomplishments.

Sounds like how everybody is afraid of terrorism but few have any sane preparations.